Sandy Island gets new bulkhead

Residents of Sandy Island, Georgetown County staff and others came out Monday morning, June 29 to celebrate completion of a new bulkhead for the island and its boat landing.

James Coley is engineering and capital projects planner for Georgetown County. He led efforts to build the 300-foot-long bulkhead. The vinyl sheeting and rip-rap structure is designed to reduce erosion on the shore of the island that’s currently home to 50-plus residents.

Sandy Island comprises about 12,000 acres. Of that total, 9,165 acres are owned by The Nature Conservancy and managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and its Waccamaw National Wildlife Refuge. The island is bounded by the Waccamaw and Pee Dee rivers and Thoroughfare and Bull creeks.

Ray Funnye, director of Public Service for Georgetown County, said that island residents made it known to the county that the repeated flooding in recent years was causing increased erosion on the shore of the island.

Debbie Mann of the Georgetown Office of the USDA and its Natural Resources Conservation Service worked with the county to help secure a grant. The total cost of the project was $197,611. The USDA grant covered 75 percent of the cost, Funnye said, with the county match paying for the balance.

The Georgetown Times/South Strand News will have more on the bulkhead project in an upcoming issue.

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