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DredgeWire Exclusive: Gator Dredging Provides Update on USACE Folly Beach/Bird Beach Stono Sanctuary, SC Renourishment Project

Reestablished Bird Key-Stono

Posted on May 10, 2024

Due to the passing of Hurricane Ian on September 22, 2022, Folly Island, SC as well as the adjacent Bird Key-Stono Sanctuary experienced significant loss of their beaches. The damage caused by Hurricane Ian has subjected the beach community, its critical infrastructure, and the bird sanctuary to the risk of even greater loss in the event of a future hurricane.

The USACE awarded Gator Dredging of Clearwater, Florida the Folly Beach Emergency Renourishment Project located in the Charleston, South Carolina area. The collaboration between Folly Beach and the US Army Corps of Engineers, seeks to achieve three important goals:to provide protection of critical infrastructure, to make the Folly River federal navigation channel safer to navigate, and to restore critical habitat for nesting sea and shore birds on nearby Bird Key-Stono Sanctuary.

With Bird Key-Stono Sanctuary being a critical habitat for a variety of sea and shore birds and an environmental window for nesting activities approaching, special consideration and focus was given to completing the restoration of the sanctuary first.Restoration efforts of the Bird Key -Stono Sanctuary started on March 1, 2024,and werecompleted on March 15, 2024. Thecompletion ofthis restoration effort helps to ensure Bird Key-Stono Sanctuary remainsa safe haven for the sea and shore birds of the area.

With the completion of the restoration efforts for Bird Key, focus has now shifted to restoring Folly Beach. As of May 8th, an estimated 325,000 cubic yardshave been placed on the beach creating 1.3 miles of renourished beach.

At the conclusion of this project approximately 1.3 million cubic yards of beach compatiblesand willhave been placed on Folly Beach.The project is on track for completion by the estimated end date of August 16, 2024.

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