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Edisto leaders taking public comments on partnership with Corps

Edisto Beach leaders are asking town residents to take a look at a publicly-posted map showing how an easement onto their property could be part of a potential partnership between the town and the U.S. Corps of Engineers.
The town has posted a map of beachfront properties. This map shows how many feet of each parcel of privately-owned land would be needed by the town, should each property owner agree to a ? easement. Granting the easements to the town would allow Edisto Beach officials to enter into a partnership with the U.S. Corps of Engineers and their beach renourishment program.
Town leaders met with the Corps on Monday night during a public information session.
While Edisto Beach did suffer minimal erosion from the recent September-impact of Hurricane Florence, Edisto’s financial impact for ongoing renourishment projects is increasing.
According to information provided by town officials,
In 2014, town leaders began a conversation with the Civil Works Board Chief of Engineers about its coastal storm damage reduction program.
This program would offer financial assistance to the town for future renourishment projects. The program does require that town residents who own property along the beach consent to an easement. These easements would ensure that nothing can be done to interfere with any renourishment. The amount needed from an individual property owner depends on various guidelines, including how close the property is to vegetation.
Approximately 225 properties are on the ocean front. The town’s leaders need consent in order to move forward with any partnership. A copy of the map showing each residents’ property and the needed easements are available at town hall. More information on this map can be found at the town’ Web site.
“Anyone who lives on the coast knows the beach is dynamic,” said Hill, in a written document. “The problem is that beaches and barrier islands are not permanent. Wind and water reshape them. Some areas will accrete (gain sand) and some areas will erode (lose sand). This process is unpredictable. Areas that previously have accreted may begin to erode and vice versa. Without outside intervention, structures and properties are lost.
“Proximity to the ocean is why most people live on Edisto Beach. A house with an ocean view is prime real estate with property values increasing the closer a property is to the ocean. Since tourism is the Town’s main industry, the beach is the Town’s industrial park. Without the beachfront, everyone is impacted. “
The Town of Edisto Beach has paid for three massive beach renourishment projects: one in 1995, which cost $1.5 million to put 155,000-cubic yards of sand on the beach and repair a few of the town’s groins (rock structures that extend into the ocean to prevent erosion); a second renourishment in 2006, which cost $8.06 million to put 877,647-cucib yards on sand on the beach; and a third in 2017, which cost nearly $20 million to put about 1,177,000-cubic yards of sand onto the beach. The most recent project was paid with a mixture of federal, state and local money. The local money came from The Town of Edisto Beach and from Colleton County.
“The overall question is how the town fund the next beach renourishment project,” said Hill.
According to her, coastal towns need to have a beach renourishment project about every 10-16 years. This timeline does not include damage from hurricanes or other storms.
If the town approves the partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Edisto Beach as a municipality would join the federal funding program. This means the town would receive federal funding assistance in the event of a storm.
As of press deadline, Edisto’s elected leaders had not made any decisions or taken any votes on this potential partnership. More information is being gathered by the town’s residents and public.

Heather Walters (1403 Posts)