Wild Dunes beach renourishment finally under way

The long-awaited Wild Dunes beach renourishment project on Isle of Palms is under way two years after residents starting pushing for it, and despite a fight over whether public funds should be used to replace eroded beach in the private community. The Post and Courier reports:

The $10 million dredging project has been controversial among some residents and others who objected to using $3 million of public funds to pay for a project in a private gated resort, on a strand of inlet beach subject to eroding.

The renourishment might not end the controversy.

A long-term beach management plan put together by the city, enabling its officials to apply for state and federal renourishment money, says continued beach nourishment is part of a long-term management strategy. In its upcoming, not-yet-approved budget, City Council would set aside $50,000 for ongoing monitoring of erosion and put $100,000 in reserve for future renourishment projects.

Should public tax dollars be used to replenish a beach that the public can't use? Or does any resident deserve the protection of its coastline?

It's not a simple issue. The problem is so bad that a portion of Wild Dunes' Links golf course was washed away in October, and there have been a few instances of waves and tides reaching pools and walkways. Debris brought in with the tide even ruptured a sewer line at one condominium complex last year (no sewage was released), and about a month later, a pool's waterline was broken.

So does this become an issue of basic residential protection that government should guarantee, even for a private community, rather than just them wanting a pretty beach?

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