2024 Beach Renourishment Project Information

---Track The Folly Beach Renourishment CLICK HERE!---


  • Questions for the project manager from the Army Corps of Engineers? CLICK HERE
  • Beach Renourishment to begin in the Spring of 2024.
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers project.
  • Project Area: Folly Beach County Park to 1st groin northeast of Summer Place Lane.
  • Project Length: 5 miles.
  • Cost: $18,000,000.
  • Funding: 100% Federal.
  • Sand Source: Folly River.
  • Volume: 1,200,000 cubic yards.
  • Prime Contractor: Gator Dredging with subcontract to Marinex Construction.
  • Includes 40,000 cy Bird Key habitat restoration.
  • Turtle nesting will be carefully monitored. The Army Corps’ contractor will work with local turtle volunteers to safeguard nesting females, nests, and hatchlings.
  • Construction completion is anticipated by September 2024.

To get updates on the renourishment, @CharlestonCorps on Facebook, Instagram, and X (Formerly Twitter) the Charleston Army Corps GIS map to track project progress up the beach.

U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Project Overview Powerpoint.

  • Two pumping operations will be underway along Folly Beach.
  • Will begin at the Folly Beach County Park and then head northeast to the pier.
  • Will begin east of the pier, and head northeast toward Summer Place Lane.
  • The contractor will close sections of the beach (roughly >1000 feet at a time) but most of the beach will remain publicly accessible during construction.
  • The active work area will move every 5 to 7 days on average depending on weather.
  • As areas are completed, sections of the beach will be opened for public access. The pipeline will remain on the beach until construction is complete.
  • Sand ramps will provide access over the pipe to the shoreline.
  • The dredging operations will shut down from time to time due to weather and, less often, equipment delays.
  • Work areas are closed to the public. It is an active construction zone, so please keep out. Expect 24-hour, 7-day operations when sea conditions allow.  

  • The borrow area for the beach renourishment is the Folly River channel from the Sunset Cay Marina out to the Atlantic Ocean (blue line) and an area between Bird Key and the Folly Beach County Park (pink) as shown in the diagram below.
  • The contractor’s dredge will operate within this area.
  • A floating pipeline will run out of the dredge and attach to a submerged pipeline that will run along the river bottom toward 1) Bird Key, and 2) the back side of the Folly Beach County Park.
  • Navigation for vessels will not be impeded by the dredging.
  • The pipeline will be marked with buoys and lights.

  • The beach will be constructed abnormally wide because it is well known that the beach will “equilibrate” soon after construction (diagram below). The wide beach that is constructed by the bulldozers will start to narrow immediately. Natural wave action will smooth the beach to a gentler slope, causing the visible beach width to narrow. This process does not involve a loss of sand from the beach, but rather a redistribution of sand to the nearshore area and to the sand bar. Like the existing beach, eventually, about 2/3 of the new material will be underwater, acting like the foundation of a house supporting the dry beach. Although it will appear that the beach is rapidly eroding after nourishment, this is expected and indicative of the beach transforming from a constructed, designed beach to a natural beach form.
  • Again, bulldozers cannot physically place sand in the surf zone. The project has been designed to include a volume of sand that the waves and currents will transport offshore to fill in the lower parts of the beach profile. The dry beach appears to erode; however, this sand moves offshore by design, where it is more effective at dampening wave energy.
  • For more information on profile equilibration, please see Click HERE

  • Sand will naturally begin spreading to the south, “feeding” beaches to the southwest, immediately after construction.
  •  Sand Bleaching: The sand will appear to be darker than natural beach sand at first. This is normal. The darker color is due to the moisture and organic content of the sand. Once it dries and bleaches in the sun, it will lighten to the natural beach sand color.
  • You may also notice the development of “drop-offs,” also called scarps or escarpments at the high tide line. Scarps are a steep slope separating the high, dry beach berm and lower, wet sand. Typically, these are 1-3 feet high but can be taller after severe storms. Scarps are also an expected part of the beach renourishment process.
  • Don’t be apprehensive about changes on the beach after nourishment, the changes are expected and not a cause for worry. It's just the beach and dune design allowing nature to take its course to reshape into a more sustainable shape -- to make it into a beach that we can enjoy for years to come.

2024 Beach Preservation

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Do you have specific questions not answered on this page? Please send your question(s) HERE.

Our Beach Management Plan

Beach Management Plan

Folly Beach's Local Comprehensive Beach Management Plan has been adopted by the city and the state.

A copy of the LCBMP can be found HERE.

The plan deals with many important areas of beach management.

  • Short-term: Dune Management Plan and identifying new borrow area for re-nourishment
  • Mid-term: Improve re-nourishment project performance through groins or design modification
  • Long-term: Regional sediment management, extending nourishment interval, and reducing costs; begin saving for future property acquisition if property becomes uninhabitable

The plan also reviews many of the city's existing ordinances designed to preserve and protect the beach. Examples include rules that govern:

  • Lot coverage
  • Maximum house size
  • Setbacks
  • Rules for nonconforming and non-compliant structures
  • Multifamily development (no longer an allowable use on beachfront properties)
  • Minimum lot size has doubled to 10,500 sq feet
  • New seawall ordinance; permitting from the city
  • Rules for private dune walkovers