Tackling Beach Erosion

By: Mike Tolbert
By: Mike Tolbert

Horace Whaley probably had the same response most people have had when they see metal poles and nets on the beach.

"We came on to the beach in December and thought, what is that?"

They're porous groynes, an experiment to help restore a section of inlet beach, designated by the state as critically eroded.

Brad Pickel, Beach Management Director, says, "As the waves approach the structures they actually hit a structure and then the wavers reduce in size. That little reduction in size allows the send to fall out so it actually functions like a sand fence in the water."

The numbers on the pylons represent the amount of sand that has piled up in their locations, at one almost two feet since November. The nets and poles run for about 2,000 feet, not a large area, but enough to affect the view and regular walks of those who live behind them.

Horace says he doesn't mind.

“You've got to accomodate some of these inconveniences if you're gonna improve the beach quality. We don’t mind walking round it. We walk her every day pretty well.”

Officials say they will take the groynes out in April just in time for the heavy tourist season. Beach management officials say the porous groynes don't bring in enough sand to be used in large-scale renourishment projects.


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