BEAUFORT -- Hunting and Harbor islands' beaches are among the five coastal areas most threatened by erosion in the state, with Hunting Island losing up to 50 feet of sand last year, according to the State of the Beaches report released Wednesday.
The annual report, released by the S.C.
Department of Health and Environment Control's Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management and published since 1991, summarizes changes to the state's beaches during 2007.
The results are based on beach surveys conducted at 399 monitoring stations.
In addition to profiling 24 coastal areas, the report also lists the five most "erosional" beaches in the state. Erosional defines a beach that is actively losing sand.
The five most erosional beaches are:
• The southwestern end of Hunting Island: Two state-owned beach houses in the park were demolished in October due to structural damage caused by erosion, and several other cabins are threatened.
• The northeastern end of Harbor Island: Chronic erosion in portions of this gated community has resulted in ocean water comingunder several houses at high tide.
• The northeastern end of Sullivan's Island: Similar to Harbor Island, chronic erosion has resulted in ocean water coming under several houses at high tide.
• The northeastern end of Isle of Palms: This beach is highly erosional, and many structures are threatened.
• The southern end of Pawleys Island: Many houses have minimal protection, and the parking area that provides most of the public beach access in Georgetown County is in jeopardy.