Folly Beach wants to use sand from the Folly River to restore beaches on the east end of the island where hurricanes Joaquin and Matthew did heavy damage.

The city has submitted an application for the work to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Some 18,000 dump truck loads of sand from the river would be placed on 26 acres of beach between 8th Street East and 14th Street East, according to the application.

The sand would come from the Corps dredging the navigation channel in the river.

In addition, nine beach groins in the project area would be repaired using 247 truckloads of rock. Concrete and "marine mattresses" would be part of the fix.

"There has been no decision on the proposed project involving groins," a Corps spokesman said.

The U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service will review the project to minimize impact on certain species of sea turtles and shorebirds. It could take up to 120 days to complete the review.

DHEC is receiving public comment on the project, and a public hearing on the work may be requested through the agency.

If approved, construction is expected to take nine months.

The project is likely to overlap with sea turtle nesting season, the Fish & Wildlife Service said.

Loggerhead, green and leatherback sea turtles could be affected, Fish & Wildlife said in a June 28 letter to the Corps.

Piping plovers, red knots, West Indian manatees and seabeach amaranth may be affected, the letter states.

The FWS recommends the sand placement happen from Nov. 1 to June 30.

Groin construction should be limited to daylight hours during sea turtle nesting season. And standard precautions for manatees during construction should be followed, the letter says.

The Fish and Wildlife Service requests a biological assessment for seven species that the project may affect.

Folly has sought state and federal funding for the work, said Spencer Wetmore, city administrator.

The groin rehabilitation is estimated to cost $3 million.

The city is also working with the Corps to design an emergency repair for the areas damaged by the hurricanes between 8th Street East and the east end of the island, she said.

"This project is contingent on approval from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to use additional sand from the Folly River outside of the channel," she said.

Dredging sand and placing it on the beach is estimated to cost about $10 million and will be mostly federally funded, she said.

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