Beach renourishment at Ocean Point should start

Town officials should move forward with renourishment plan in Port Royal Plantation.

info@islandpacket.comDecember 7, 2013 

The idea of dump trucks rumbling around your neighborhood for weeks and dumping load after load of sand onto the nearby beach isn't appealing. It's understandable that some residents who live near Ocean Point in Port Royal Plantation are balking at the Town of Hilton Head Island's plan to truck in as much as 35,000 cubic yards of sand from a mine in Hardeeville to patch a 2,000 swath of eroding shoreline. The amount of sound equates to nearly 3,000 truckloads.

One resident said the dump truck method doesn't make sense and is instead encouraging the town to place wire baskets filled with sandbags or other material along the beach as a temporary solution until the town's next islandwide beach fill project, scheduled for 2015 or 2016. The sand could be pumped onto the beach by dredge, he points out.

But state law likely prohibits such a method.

And a suggestion for the town to take sand that has accumulated offshore to the south of Ocean Point won't work either. The town's coastal engineering firm said such a move would harm habitat for wintering piping plovers.

Lastly, waiting until the next island wide beach renourishment plan could be risky as the erosion is occurring at a rate of about 30 feet per year, according to a town survey, posing a threat to oceanfront properties.

It seems the work needs to be done as soon as possible -- even if it disrupts neighbors.

With luck, it will be a mild winter without any big storms, said Steve Riley, the town's manager, on Thursday.

That would allow the town to delay the work until 2015 or 2016 during the next islandwide renourishment project.

Neighbors would expect disturbances then. Plus, it would save the town money.

Otherwise, residents may have to accept that dump trucks carrying sand is part of oceanfront living, buy earplugs and remember that they will benefit most when the $1 million project is complete.

The Island Packet is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere in the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

Commenting FAQs | Terms of Service