Isle of Palms Beach Renourishment looking to move forward

Beach Renourishment on a Roll
Here’s the full text of an article in Tuesday’s Post and Courier.Isle of Palms aims to get rolling on beach renourishment by springBy Prentiss Findlay (Contact)The Post and CourierTuesday, January 15, 2008ISLE OF PALMS — Construction of a new beach that would offer protection to dozens of condominiums threatened by tides at the erosion-scarred northeast end of the island is likely to begin six months earlier than projected, officials said Monday.”Obviously, time is of the essence. We were advised that we should request an earlier start time if possible,” said Tim Kana, president of Coastal Science & Engineering of Columbia.Kana said regulatory agencies suggested moving the project start time up to spring. “I think it’s doable,” he said.The city on Monday asked state Ocean and Coastal Resource Management and the Army Corps of Engineers to approve pumping up to 885,000 cubic yards of sand on 2.6 miles of beach from 47th Avenue to Dewees Inlet, according to a copy of the new application. The endangered homes are at the northern reach of the project, toward the inlet. Previously, the project was expected to start in November.The city’s estimated 20 percent share of the cost of the $9.7 million project could change after the project is bid and a contractor selected, said City Manager Linda Lovvorn Tucker. Wild Dunes, where the worst erosion threatens condos, would pay $6.8 million through its affected property owners, the Wild Dunes Community Association and Wild Dunes Resort.”We’re very confident that we will be able to obtain the balance of the full amount of the project,” said Dave Kynoski, association general manager.Meanwhile, a temporary restraining order is set to expire today that was won by Wild Dunes property owners to keep OCRM from removing sandbags from in front of six condominium complexes and two other properties. Lawyers have scheduled a conference for Thursday, and the regulatory agency won’t take any action before then, Dan Burger, OCRM communications director, said in an e-mail.The city met with Charleston County Council and sent a letter to OCRM regarding their possible funding of the effort to address the erosion problem, but it hasn’t gotten a response from, Tucker said.City Council on Thursday approved a plan to borrow $2,013,500 for the project using hospitality and accommodations tax revenue. Mayor Mike Sottile said OCRM is providing guidance to the town on the accelerated schedule for the beach renourishment project. Although much of the erosion-scarred beach up for replenishment is at gated Wild Dunes, the beach renourishment is an important effort for the entire island, he said.”Two years from now, we could have erosion at Breach Inlet. We’re breaking new ground here as far as what we’re doing. We’re setting a precedent,” he said.The S.C. Department of Natural Resources made recommendations regarding the depth and location of the underwater digging that have been incorporated in the revised application, which also includes U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service draft recommendations that the beach renourishment project happen outside the main turtle nesting and hatching season. The agency also suggests that contributions be made to the Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge Turtle Project to offset impacts to loggerhead sea turtles. The USFWS says the contractor can put sand on the affected area of beach only once during the project.Bo Petersen contributed to this story. Reach Prentiss Findlay at 937-5711 or pfindlay@postandcourier.com.

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