More sand than originally planned might be coming to Sea Pines after Tropical Storm Irma damaged Hilton Head beaches.
The town of Hilton Head has applied to the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and the state Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management for a permit to place 350,000 cubic yards of sand along 11,400 feet of Atlantic shorefront just north of an ongoing beach fill project in Sea Pines, according to a town release.
“The project we envision now is 100 percent related to the changes as a result of Irma,” said Scott Liggett, the town’s chief engineer and director of public projects and facilities. “The project is an attempt to restore the beach conditions.”
Irma hit the south end of the island the hardest, though the amount of sand lost has not been quantified because surveys are ongoing, he said.
The project will replace sand and dune losses that occurred as a result of Hurricane Matthew and were further degraded by Tropical Storm Irma, the release said. The sand will be placed between beach markers 32 and 54, in areas known as Beach Lagoon and northern Sea Pines.
Because the worst damage occurred in the area already being restored, some additional sand will be placed in areas further damaged by Irma, Liggett said. Locations north of the South Island beach fill area have never been renourished, he said.
Liggett said the estimated cost of renourishing the Beach Lagoon and northern Sea Pines areas will be between $3 million and $5 million, which could be partially taken from unallocated money from the South Island Emergency Beach Fill project, though he added a budget amendment might be needed.
Liggett said the latest project will be roughly the same in scope as the beach fill project, which resumed about a week after Irma. It was halted again when Hurricane Maria made conditions unsafe and has not yet resumed.
The sand to restore the northern portion of Sea Pines will be taken from the offshore borrow site already permitted for the beach fill project, the release said.