January 21, 2022

Charles Swenson, Coastal Observer

Panel approves permanent sandbags as ‘research’

Four DeBordieu property owners who installed sandbags in front of their beachfront houses without state permits will be able to keep them as part of a research project they are funding through Coastal Carolina University. The board of the state Department of Health and Environmental Control last week overturned a staff decision to deny authorization for the research.

In addition to allowing the study, which may not start for a decade or more, the board said that any penalties imposed by the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management for failing to obtain permits cannot include removal of the sandbags.

The study is an important step toward developing strategies that will preserve oceanfront properties from erosion, said state Sen. Stephen Goldfinch, one of three attorneys who argued for the property owners before the board.

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