ISLE OF PALMS — The Wild Dunes beach renourishment project is on the move.
Meanwhile, the offshore shoal that exacerbated the erosion is apparently moving ashore.
State coastal managers recently stood atop the wall of sandbags now protecting condominiums and houses and measured an increase in the beach sand.
"There is indication that the erosion due to the shoal bypass event is subsiding and the beach is starting to build back naturally," Dan Burger, communications director for the S.C. Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, said in an e-mail.
The erosion has been caused by a periodic shoaling of sand at the inlet's mouth; the shoals eventually migrate to the beach.
Whether or not the beach restores itself,
whether or not the beach restores itself. It's expected to be an ongoing project to protect both vulnerable tips of the island from on-again, off-again erosion.
John O'Hare, the president of the homeowner's association at Seascape, one of a half-dozen condominium complexes now threatened by tides washing underneath them, said high tide Wednesday continued to swamp the bags.
The city of Isle of Palms will receive bids until April 24 on what is now estimated to be a $9.9 million project to dredge sand from offshore to feed the beach. The winning bidder would be required to complete the work by July 31.
Seven blocks of beach have been removed from the planned stretch of renourishment, now running from 53rd Avenue to Dewees Inlet.
Mayor Mike Sottile said the OCRM has approved the island's beach management plan, making the city eligible for state beach renourishment funding; the city is applying for a $1 million grant. The city also plans to spend roughly $2 million from accommodation tax funds. Charleston County will pay $900,000 from its accommodation taxes.
The Wild Dunes Resort and the owners' association in the private, gated community have agreed to pay nearly $6 million.
"Everything is in order and moving forward," Sottile said.