FOLLY BEACH, SC: AN ENDANGERED BARRIER ISLAND AT THE EDGE OF AMERICA
Folly beach has undergone shoreline erosion since the completion of the Charleston Harbor Jetties, in the late 1890s disrupted the southerly longshore transport of sand to Folly and Morris Islands. Today, hard stabilization structures (e.g., seawalls, groin fields) protect property located along Folly's beach from shoreline erosion of at least 1 to 3 feet per year. In 1989, Hurricane Hugo's storm surge and winds damaged most of Folly Island's beachfront home. For years later, to restore the Folly's recreational beach and to protect beachfront property, a $ 15.3 million federally funded renourishment project placement of 2.5 million cubic yards of sand along a 5.3-mile stretch of shoreline. In 2006, a renourishment project was needed to restore the recreational beach after 12 years of beach erosion. Within one year, storm generated erosion resulted in another renourishment project. Additionally, sand is periodically pumped on to the beach along the southern end of the Island. Recent aerial photographic and statistical analysis of Folly Island shows that over the past 65 years, Folly Island has lost over 13 acres of beachfront. In the past 14 years, three beach renourishment projects have mitigated the amount of sand lost.