Grand Strand leaders look at next step in beach nourishment

CHERRY GROVE, SC (WMBF) – Beach erosion has always been a problem for the Grand Strand, which is why 20 years ago the area partnered with the Federal Government on a 50- year plan to replenish the beaches.

The different phases of the renourishment project happen about every ten years. The next phase is set to begin in 2018.

Before that next phase, Grand Strand leaders must help cover the cost of a $300,000 economic study conducted by the Army Corps of Engineers.

Myrtle Beach City Manager Tom Leath told WMBF News since the first phase of renourishment, some of the rules and guidelines have changed. Now, the engineers must update their studies done some 20 years ago.

The price tag of the study will be split in half leaving the Federal Government and the Grand Strand picking up $150,000 a piece off the tab.

That $300,000 is needed sometime in 2017.

Beach improvement plans include access for everyone

While the Grand Strand waits on the next phase of renourishment, North Myrtle Beach is searching for beach erosion solutions for the Cherry Grove area. That section of beach is known as a "Hot Spot" for erosion due to its location.

The area where Cherry Grove Beach was first developed in the 1950s, an inlet existed in the space between the present day Sea Mountain Hwy and the Cherry Grove Pier. After the inlet was filled in, the ocean keeps trying to carve out the inlet.

During high tide, a majority of the Cherry Grove Beach disappear leaving little room for emergency vehicles to get by on the sand. Grand Strand leaders are looking to see if neighboring communities have any sand left over from their own projects that North Myrtle Beach can use in Cherry Grove before 2018.

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