May 31, 2023

Shamira McCray

Folly Beach has received $77M worth of sand in 3 decades to replenish eroded shores

FOLLY BEACH — It’s been an expensive task for this beach city to keep its head above water in recent years.

Fresh loads of sand have been dumped five times on Folly Beach in the last three decades, a feat totaling $77 million in federal tax dollars and local funds arranged from the city, according to data from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The federal government has allocated another $27 million for the emergency replacement of the equivalent of 90,000 dump truck loads of sand here in early 2024.

A number of factors have contributed to the frequent erosion seen on the beach. Scientists believe climate change, sea level rise and increasing storminess is at play.

But Folly Beach is a special in the eyes of the federal government because it is located down drift of the Charleston Harbor and its federally created jetties. These underwater rock walls span three miles into the water from the shorelines of Sullivan’s and Morris islands. They trap sand around Sullivan’s Island which prohibits the sand from flowing naturally down to Folly Beach, said Nicole Elko, president of Elko Coastal Consulting...

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