Two South Carolina shoreline neighborhoods are preparing to take action against a sea of troubles — in this case, the Atlantic Ocean, which threatens to take away not just their beaches, but their houses.
On the Isle of Palms near Charleston, the Post and Courier reports, "Sand bags are going back up at the beleaguered Ocean Club Villas," reports the Post and Courier (see: "Sand bags return to Wild Dunes resort villas," by Bo Peterson). "A week of king tides and winds tore apart renourishment sand placed only a few short months ago on the condominiums' Wild Dunes resort beach."
But the sandbags are only temporary, according to condo association president Randy Smoak: "A removable sea wall will be installed within a few weeks, as soon as the parts come in," reports the paper. "The 'wave dissipation system' allows a wall of pipes to be placed for storms and tides as needed, then taken away. The pipes allow water to pass back and forth, but hold some sand, mitigating erosion."
The Wild Dunes beach has been a perennial arena for contention over shoreline protection, but the wave dissipation system has proved its effectiveness in past seasons, the Post and Courier has reported (see "Erosion Protection Stirs Controversy - and a Possible Solution - on a South Carolina Beach," Coastal Connection 11/11/14).
Meanwhile, another South Carolina community plans to install permanent hard armoring for its beach, after receiving a special dispensation to do so from the South Carolina legislature. The Herald has that story (see: "Ocean-battered SC resort planning to rebuild protective wall as seas rise").
"In a state where new seawalls have been banned for 27 years, property owners at an exclusive South Carolina resort are moving ahead with plans for a new wall that could safeguard their homes from the ocean but erode the public beach one day," the paper reports.
'The new seawall at Debordieu, a gated community south of Myrtle Beach, would protect a small row of houses that for years has been threatened by rising seas and big waves. An existing wooden seawall is crumbling and part of it needs replacement, the landowners say."
The legislature gave Debordieu permission to rebuild its wall last year, the paper reports, but the state Department of Health and Environmental Control still has to approve the plan. "Lawmakers approved allowing a new seawall for Debordieu through an obscure budget proviso that passed as the Legislative session wound to a close in 2014," the paper reports. "According to the Debordieu plan, the new wall would extend 1,800 feet up the beach and possibly two feet closer to the ocean than the existing structure, which was built in 1981. The application for a replacement wall shows 22 lots would be protected by the new structure."