CSE is currently managing the Pawleys Island 1.1 million cubic yard beach renourishment project spanning 2.6 miles of oceanfront. As of October 22, 2019, the Marinex Construction cutter dredge, Savannah, began pumping sand from a borrow area 2-3 miles south of the island onto the beach near the south end parking lot and is steadily moving northward.
Pawleys Island is one of the oldest beach communities in the state of South Carolina with development—mostly summer cottages, some dating back to the early 1800s—stretching along roughly 4 miles of shorefront in Georgetown County. Storms have impacted the island on occasion with notable hurricanes in 1893, 1940, 1954 (Hazel), and 1989 (Hugo).
Volume analysis has shown that Pawleys Island has a gradient in erosion rates, with the south end generally showing the most erosion and the north end of the island accreting. Fortunately, even at the south end of the island, the long-term erosion rates are relatively low, averaging about 1 to 2 cubic yards per foot per year (cy/ft/yr). Despite the low erosion rates, the beach condition along much of the island south of the pier is critically eroded or lacking sufficient storm protection. The normal beach is too narrow to absorb seasonal changes associated with fall or winter storms and peak tides without impact to the foredune.
The primary goal of the beach nourishment project is to improve the beach condition so that all properties have an adequate beach capable of maintaining a protective dune. The widened shoreline will provide increased defense from coastal storms and beach erosion protecting communities, infrastructure, and property located along the shoreline. While increased protection is the primary purpose of the project, the additional beach area will also benefit tourism and wildlife.
Weather permitting, renourishment work will occur 24/7 (including holidays) with anticipated completion in February 2020.
For more information about this project, visit the town website at: