Hilton Head Island looking at changes to the beach management plan

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, SC (WTOC) - Hilton Head Island officials are taking a look at the town's comprehensive plan after Hurricane Matthew prompted some changes and updates to the previous outline. One of the big components of the plan is beach management.

The original 2016 Beach Renourishment Project finished just before the new year. However, major erosion in Sea Pines prompted the town to look at some emergency planning and possibly another renourishment project

The original project was pushed back by two months because of bad weather, which caused the displacement of about 200,000 cubic yards of sand and an emergency sand scraping project that offered protection for residents in those hard-hit areas like Sea Pines.

The Beach Management Plan is required by state law and is to be updated every five years.

However, during the town's adoption of the 2016 Beach Management Plan, the state of South Carolina changed their laws. The new changes will have an effect on future renourishment.

Shea Farrar, a landscape associate for Hilton Head Island, said, "Because of renourishment, the beach expands. And state law previously allowed property owners to petition to move the regulatory line closer to the ocean as a result of the renourishment, so now that line is being limited to its position as of December 31, 2017."

That means, for future projects after 2017, the town will have to build the beach closer towards property lines instead of the ocean.

As for the state of the beaches right now, the town is still diligently working to secure permitting and contractors for emergency work in Sea Pines.

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