Winter Storm Strips Dewees Beach Again

The cycle of erosion isn’t over.  During the December Nor’easter of 2009, loads of sand disappeared from the Dewees front beach from Osprey Walk down past Needle Rush.  The palm tree that temped fate all summer is gone.  Not just felled, but gone.  Palms from well behind it are lying on the beach.  More than 20 feet of dune is gone in many places.  Along much of the beach the primary, secondary and tertiary dunes have washed away over the past 2 years, leaving the island exposed to serious hurricanes and winter storms.  In other places, the final row of dunes has been sliced vertically in half.

The SC Coastal Survey geological marker (#3255 B) just north of Osprey Walk had the sand under it vanish.  The marker now looks like little more than beach trash — see photos.  One wonders if the “Unlawful to Disturb this Marker” still applies.

Pluff mud from under the sand has been exposed in several areas.

The staff has removed lengths of boardwalk and erected new stairs at Marsh Mallow Walk and Ancient Dunes.  Many thanks to Terry Schwartz for making the walks and stairs safe again on this chilly, wind-swept day.

We’ve taken many photos of Gary McGraw’s walkway over the past 2 years.  It’s a barometer for the condition of the middle of the front beach.  Another section has been ripped from the Walkway — the 2″ x 8″ pressure-treated beams that support the walk were splintered by the storm.  Gary and his neighbors have stacked the loose wood from their walkway on the sections that remain, hoping that the beach will begin accreting soon and they’ll be able to rebuild the walkway.

The old walkway at Ancient Dunes has been exposed.  The old walk dates back to the early days of the development of the island in the mid-1990s.  Many people have muttered that they think the shoreline matches it’s post-Hurricane Hugo contours.

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