SULLIVAN’S ISLAND, S.C. (WCSC) - As hurricane season approaches, Sullivan’s Island Town Council is watching out for its beach to make sure it can weather a potential storm.
For the past five years, the same company, Elko Coastal Consulting, Inc, has done a beach management study on Sullivan's in June to help the town understand the effect of beaches becoming wider or smaller over time by showing the changes in conditions annually.
The study found that on average, the Sullivan’s Island shoreline eroded, 13.5 feet between 2019 and 2020. This change in loss of beach is a lot more movement than they have seen in the previous four years on the island.
In order to help residents be prepared for upcoming storms, the study shares that their weak area is at the northeast end of the island. Researchers say this is because of small, dry beaches and sand dunes.
Therefore, the town could advise homeowners on the Northeast end of the Island to add beach compatible sand to widen the area immediately between the ocean and their home.
In other areas, researchers from Elko Coastal Consulting, Inc, found that there was more natural build-up of sand.
They say they have been conducting the study each June since 2016 and found that the dune and backbeach on Sullivan's Island accumulated sand along most of the island between 2019 and 2020.
The study claims this may have been “particularly influenced by reduced recreational beach use due to the ‘exercise-only’ regulation enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic.” They say there is no indication that the shoreline has grown since 2014, but the backbeach has seen an increase in sand volume and elevation.
Elko Coastal Consulting, Inc will be presenting the full report at Tuesdy's town council meeting at 6 p.m.
That meeting will be held over a Zoom call.