ISLE OF PALMS — Vote early and often is the message out of City Hall these days as the ongoing competition for best restored beach in America approches the final stretch.

The island is in the running for the title as it sits in third place out of a field of more than 20 hopefuls. To win, though, it must pass Panama City Beach, Fla., and West Hampton Dunes, N.Y.

Early Thursday afternoon, the vote tally was West Hampton Dunes, 1,804; Panama City Beach, 1,691; Isle of Palms, 1,263. No other beach community is even close in the competition for bragging rights to the title.

Voting continues online through April 27 at, the website of the American Shore & Beach Preservation Association.

“I would really like to see us charge ahead at the finish line,” said Linda Tucker, city manager.

The city nominated its $10 million beach restoration project from 53rd Avenue to Dewees Inlet for the honor. It was judged worthy of consideration by a panel of coastal managers and scientists.

For 40 years, beach restoration has been the preferred method of shore protection in coastal communities. It is the process of placing beach-quality sand on eroding beaches.

Read more in tomorrow’s print editions