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City of Isle of Palms

Beach Restoration

BEACH RESTORATION TIMELINE in REVERSE CHRONOLOGY

October 6, 2014: In preparation for the planned Fall/Winter 2014 - 2015 Shoal Management Project, the City held an informational meeting for stakeholders.  View the meeting video and materials below.

Meeting Presentation Slides.



June 24, 2014: The Isle of Palms City Council ratified the Fiscal Year 2015 Budget, which includes a provision for a potential shoal management project in the fall of 2014 and a City contribution of $200,000 toward that project.

June 2, 2014: Governor Haley signed the Beach Preservation Act (S503) into law. 

May 28, 2014:
City Council received the Breach Inlet Quarterly Survey from April 2014 
(2 MB).

March 5, 2014: City Council received the Year 5 Monitoring Report (16.7 MB).

February 24, 2014: City Council received the Breach Inlet Quarterly Survey from January 2014 (2.25 MB).

January 28, 2014: City Council received a brief update from Coastal Science and Engineering regarding the condition of the beach.

November 1, 2013: The City received amended permit SAC-2010-1041-21G from the United States Army Corps of Engineers.

October 22, 2013: City Council approved a change order to the City's contract with Coastal Science and Engineering in the amount of $20,800 to increase the frequency of monitoring to quarterly at Breach Inlet.

August 27, 2013:  Steven Traynum of Coastal Science and Engineering attended the August 27 City Council meeting to provide Council with an overview of the results of the 2013 beach monitoring of the island's entire 7-mile beach.  Click here to read the meeting minutes.  Click here to watch a video of the meeting.

May 31, 2013: The City received amended permit P/N# 2010-1041-21G from SCDHEC "to authorize increasing the number of sand scraping events from two (2) to four (4) over the life of the permit provided the sand is only taken fom the attaching shoal area . . . and the area identified as 'Potential Borrow Area A' in [the] amendment request." Under state law H4445, the permit expiration date has been extended to August 31, 2021. 

January 25, 2013: The City submitted a permit amendment request to SCDHEC and USACE requesting an extension of the SCDHEC permit expiration to coincide with the USACE expiration and requesting an increase in the allowable number of sand scraping events. 

November 2012: The City received the Year 4 Monitoring Report (15 MB) including Appendix A (5 MB).

July 2012: The City received Lighting Study #2, performed as a result of requirements for the 2012 Shoal Management Project. In the time between the first and second lighting study, residents in affected areas were encouraged to turn off outdoor lights at night to avoid adversely affecting nesting and hatching sea turtles.

July 2012: The City received the Final Report (6.7 MB) for the 2012 Shoal Managment Project, including Appendix 1 (9 MB), Appendix 2 (1 MB), Appendix 3 (2MB), and Appendix 4 (2 MB).

July 2012: The City received the Year 3 Monitoring Report (14 MB).

March 12 - April 10, 2012: Construction is executed on the 2012 Shoal Management Project by Baker Infrastructure Group.  Using land-based equipment, 87,763 cubic yards of sand are moved from the "borrow area" from approximately Beach Club Villas I to Shipwatch to the "fill area" from Port O'Call to the 18th fairway of the Links Golf Course.

February 28, 2012: City Council awarded the a contract to Baker Infrastructure Group in an amount up to $250,500 for construction of the 2012 Shoal Management Project.

February 27, 2012: The United States Army Corps of Engineers issued Permit Number 2010-1041-21G (pdf, 2MB) for shoal realignment.

February 2012: As part of the requirements for the 2012 Shoal Management project, the City authorized Coastal Science and Engineering to conduct Lighting Study #1 from the beach at night. 

January 25, 2012: City advertised Request for Bids for construction of the 2012 Shoal Management Project.

November 15, 2011:  City Council awarded the two contracts to CSE.  The first was for beach condition monitoring for the entire Isle of Palms beach for years 2012, 2013 and 2014.  The second was for final coastal engineering, design, and construction administration of a shoal management project.

August 31, 2011: The SDHEC-OCRM issued the City the five-year Permit 2010-1041-21G (pdf, 890 KB) "to realign the beach in a shoal-attachment area on and adjacent to the Atlantic Ocean at a location limited to the area between 53rd Avenue and an existing groin near the 17th tee of the Links Course, on the northeastern end of the Isle of Palms, Charleston County, South Carolina."   

June 2011: Sediment samples were collected for the third and final year of post-project monitoring required by the permit.

March 2011: The City received the Year 2 Monitoring Report (13MB) for the beach.  In addition, City Council approved an amendment to CSE's contract to design and apply for permits for remedial nourishment of erosion hotspots.

February 15, 2011:  Coastal Science and Engineering (CSE) spoke at the Ways and Means Committee.  CSE reported that the Essential Fish Habitat and Biological Assessment documents were submitted to the regulatory agencies.  Regarding the permit application, the City is waiting to receive public comments submitted to the agencies to which the City will respond. CSE also addressed the current state of the beach based on the most recent monitorings.  Click here to view the presentation.  

January 2011: As part of the recent permit application, regulatory agencies requested an Essential Fish Habitat (EFH) and a Biological Assessment (BA).  These two studies are intended to asses potential impacts of the project on flora and fauna in the area.  Field work and research have been completed and final documents are in the preparation stage.

December 3, 2010:  The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers issued a Public Notice regarding the City's permit application.  Public Comments were accepted from December 2, 2010 to January 1, 2011. 

October 6, 2010: The City submitted the permit applications to perform excavation ad place fill material to realign the beach in shoal attachment areas to the United States Army Corps of Engineers and to the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Ocean &Coastal Resource Management for remedial nourishment of erosion hotspots.

September 2, 2010:  Representatives from the City of Isle of Palms and Coastal Science & Engineering attended an interagency meeting to discuss the project and allow agencies to ask questions and offer feedback before the permit application for remedial nourishment of erosion hotspots is submitted.  Agencies at the meeting included the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Bureau of Water Quality (SCDHEC BWQ), the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR), the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Ocean & Coastal Resource Management (SCDHEC OCRM), and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS).

July 15, 2010:  Coastal Science & Engineering made a site visit to the Isle of Palms this week to perform tests and collect samples for the scheduled bi-annual post-project beach monitoring in accordance with the original project permit.  Work also continues on the preparation of the permit application for remedial nourishment of erosion hotspots.

June 15, 2010:  The City was in receipt of signed concurrence from all parties who signed original agreements.  In accordance with the Council action of April 27, the City executed an amendment to the contract with Coastal Science & Engineering to "Plan and Permit Application for Remedial Nourishment of Erosion Hotspots." 

April 27, 2010:  City Council passed a motion to approve an amendment to the Coastal Science & Engineering contract for planning and preparation of the permit application for remedial nourishment of erosion hot spots contingent upon the approval of the original parties.

February 3, 2010:  City Council passed a motion supporting the sending of correspondence to the parties who signed agreements with the City related to the original project requesting concurrence for using the funds on-hand in the IOP Beach Restoration Escrow account to pursue a permit for remedial nourishment of erosion hotspots.

February 3, 2010:  City Council held a Special Meeting to hear the results of the "2008 Isle of Palms Beach Restoration Project Year 1 Monitoring Report" (15.2MB, pdf).  Coastal Science & Engineering summarized the report in a PowerPoint Presentation (2.11MB, pdf).

May 25, 2009:
  Sand fencing has been installed and dune vegetation has been planted in the project area as additional protection of the beach.

May 22, 2009: New aerial photos of the project area have been posted in the photo gallery.

July 2, 2008: Construction is officially complete and all equipment has been cleared from the beach.  Final surveys and post-project monitoring will continued as needed.

June 26, 2008: The dredging and pumping are complete well ahead of schedule.  View a map of the completed fill in Reach A. The Dredge, "R.S. Weeks," has left the waters surrounding the Isle of Palms.  Work will continue as pipes and equipment are removed from the beach, final surveys are completed and the sand is tilled.

June 24, 2008: View a progress map for Reach A.

June 22, 2008: View a progress map for Reach A.

June 20, 2008: View a progress map for Reach A.

June 17, 2008: View a progress map for Reach A.

June 16, 2008: The fill has been completed in Reach C.

June 15, 2008: View a progress map for Reach C.

June 14, 2008: The fill has been completed in Reach B.

June 13, 2008: View a progress map for Reach B.  To date, no fill has been placed in Reach A or Reach C.

June 12, 2008: During construction, a historic, 128-pound cannon ball was excavated onto the beach.  The cannon ball was evaluated by Charleston County and state explosive teams as well as by a historian with the National Park Service. The cannon ball was safely removed from the project area.

June 9, 2008: View progress maps for Reach A, Reach B and Reach C.

June 2, 2008: Approximately 8,600 sand bags have been removed to date.  Dredging and pumping continue as scheduled.

May 27, 2008: Over the Memorial Day weekend, the dredge took up position and began pumping sand onto the beach.  Visitors can see the "slurry," a mixture of water and sand, coming out of the pipe.  Soon, the slurry will dry into a sandy beach.  The operation will officially run 24 hours per day, 7 days per week until the project is complete.  Sand bag removal continues as scheduled.  The City appreciates your patience during construction. 

May 22, 2008: The Dredge, the "R.S. Weeks," has arrived in Charleston and should be visible in near the project borrow sites shortly. The dredging and pumping of sand is anticipated to begin over the Memorial Day weekend. Sandbag removal continues at a good pace. Visitors to the beach will notice that the beach is active with construction equipment as pipe is laid in preparation for the pumping of sand.

May 19, 2008: Sandbag removal began this morning and will continue as the project progresses. Please stay clear of the construction equipment.

May 15, 2008: The City received final approval from the United States Army Corps of Engineers regarding a monitoring plan for the project. Weeks Marine has mobilized equipment and is placing pipeline on the beach and submerging pipeline in the ocean. The dredger is en route to the project site. Monitoring for sea turtles has begun. The City requests your cooperation for the temporary (until July 31, 2008) noise, lights and construction equipment. Please avoid the construction area, pipeline and heavy equipment.

May 7, 2008: The United States Army Corps of Engineers issued Permit Number 2007-02631-21G (pdf, 3 MB) for the beach restoration project, and the City signed the permit.

May 5, 2008: The City hosted two meetings related to project construction. The first included representatives from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, the United States Fish and Wildlife Service and the Island Turtle Team to discuss the protocols and protections for endangered species during the project. The second focused on logistical issues of project construction.

May 2, 2008:
 At a Special Meeting, City Council passed a motion to accept the lowest bid placed by Weeks Marine and to amend the volume of sand to be dredged from 780,000 cubic yards to 845,000 cubic yards for a contract totaling $8,386,850, contingent upon the City's receipt and approval of the permit from the United States Corps of Engineers.

April 24, 2008: The City hosted a public bid opening for the Beach Restoration Project and recieved bids from Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Company, Weeks Marine, and Norfolk Dredging Company. At this stage, the bids undergo a formal review.

April 16, 2008: The City and Coastal Science and Engineering hosted a mandatory pre-bid meeting where contractors interested in bidding on the project received essential information, asked questions and made a project site visit.

April 15, 2008: The City received signed agreements from parties involved in the project. In addition, funds received from involved parties were deposited in the IOP Beach Restoration Escrow to be used for the project.

March 18, 2008: The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control Ocean and Coastal Resource Management issued the City of Isle of Palms Permit 2007-02631-21G-P (pdf, 2 MB) for beach renourishment.

February 19, 2008: Mayor Mike Sottile and City Administrator Linda Tucker attended the Charleston County Council meeting in support of the City's application for financial assistance. Charleston County Council approved the request and contributed $900,000 towards the project.

January 17, 2008: The City of Isle of Palms made a formal request to Charleston County for fiscal assistance with the erosion crisis and beach restoration project.

January 11, 2008: At the request of the permitting agencies, the City of Isle of Palms filed an amended permit application with SCDHEC OCRM and USACE that modified the proposed construction schedule. The modified permit application stipulates that all construction must be complete by July 31, 2008. The impetus for the amended construction schedule was to ensure removal of sandbags from the beach before any potential fall/winter storm activity to provide maximum protection to the citizens, the environment and the structures.

January 11, 2008: The City of Isle of Palms entered into an agreement with Coastal Science & Engineering to plan, permit, engineer and administer services related to the project.

January 10, 2008: City Council passed a motion to contribute $1,700,000 to the project in addition to funds previously committed. Per the motion, the $1,700,000 will be generated with a revenue bond.

November 20, 2007: The City of Isle of Palms applied with SCDHEC OCRM and the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to receive a permit for beach renourishment.

November 13, 2007: At a Special Meeting, City Council received a presentation of the Long-Term Beach Management Plan and passed a motion to initiate the permit application process for a beach renourishment project using $200,000 allocated in the FY08 budget for beach erosion.

2008 PROJECT SUMMARY

The northeastern end of the Isle of Palms endured a severe erosion crisis as a shoal attached to that section of the island. If the acute episode continued unabated, structures could have been threatened. In order to protect the public safety and to ensure that the beaches remained healthy, the City undertook a beach restoration project in the spring and summer of 2008. The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (SCDHEC OCRM) issued the City a permit that stipulated "up to 885,000 cubic yards of sand will be dredged from four offshore borrow sites and pumped via hydraulic pipeline to renourish 13,785 linear feet of beach." This project restored the dry sand beach, controlled the erosion and included the removal of all sandbags placed in the erosion area.

The City of Isle of Palms Local Comprehensive Beach Management Plan, including Appendices, was approved by SCDHEC OCRM on April 7, 2008.

BEACH MONITORING

As part of the permit requirements for the 2008 project, the City executed a pre-project monitoring in May 2008 and post-project monitorings in October 2008, May 2009, September 2009 (Year 1), May 2010, September 2010 (Year 2) and June 2011 (Year 3). Included in the post-project monitoring are surveys of the beach and borrow areas as well as benthic analysis. Another important part of the post-project monitoring was compaction testing, which determined whether the sand needs to be tilled before the start of turtle nesting season.

Monitoring of the entire seven miles of Isle of Palms beach has been planned for 2012, 2013 and 2014.

2008 PROJECT FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Are there photos of the project?
Click here to view a photo gallery.

When did the project start?
The project began over Memorial Day weekend 2008.

When did the project end?
Project construction was completed in early July 2008.

Where did the project start and end?
The restored beach runs from 53rd Avenue to Dewees Inlet. The project map shows that sand was placed in three major areas called Reach A, Reach B and Reach C. Where the project starts and ends exactly, including where construction occurred on any specific day, depended on several variables including weather conditions and material conditions.

What about the sea turtles that nest on the Isle of Palms?
The City continues to work closely with all appropriate local, state and federal agencies to ensure maximum protection for sea turtles. The permits issued by the agencies allowing construction to occur include clear guidelines to protect sea turtles. Every night and every morning, turtle monitors walked the construction area looking for turtles and their tracks, and if one was found, the appropriate steps were taken to protect the turtle and its nest.

Did the project run all day and night?
Yes. The project did run 24 hours per day and 7 days per week. The goal was to complete the project as soon as possible, so unless inclement weather forced a delay, construction continued all the time.  The project was completed several weeks ahead of schedule thereby minimizing disruption to beach goers.  

What was construction like?
The City contracted with Weeks Marine to perform the construction. Beach restoration is a large project that involves an off-shore dredger, large pipeline and heavy equipment and trucks. Visitors and residents in close proximity to the project encountered this large equipment and heard the accompanying noise. At night, lights illuminated the beach so construction could continue. These disruptions were temporary as the project moved down the beach.

Was the beach closed?
The restored beach is approximately 9,200 feet long, but only a smaller section of the beach was under active construction on any given day. The section under construction was clearly marked and closed to visitors. The rest of the beach was open as usual. Also, the construction was progressive, meaning it moved along the beach during construction.

Did the project affect boaters?
Boaters needed to be aware that pipeline, marked with buoys, was be submerged in the waters around the project.

What about the sandbags?
As part of construction, all the sandbags were removed from the beach.

What was the beach like when the project was completed?
The project restored a wide, dry sand beach.