We have had so many people ask, “What’s going on at Cherry Grove Beach this week” we thought it would be good to address the question. What looks like a bunch of ugly old pipe is actually a sight for sore eyes along our coast here in North Myrtle Beach. Right now, our beaches are undergoing what is known as beach renourishment. This process takes place to replenish sand lost during storms and hurricanes. In this case, it’s occurring due to the erosion caused by Hurricane Florence last year. Although that hurricane did not have a direct impact on our area and caused very little damage here, it did result in a loss of beach front and, in particular, sand on our stretch of beach.
The first nourishment project in the United States was at Coney Island, New York in 1922 and 1923 (source Wikipedia). Beaches can erode both naturally and due to human impacts. Erosion is a natural response to storm activity. During storms, sand from the visible beach submerges to form sand bars that protect the beach (source Coastal Management). Some beaches do not have enough sand available to respond naturally to storms. When not enough sand is available, the beach cannot recover after the storms have passed.
A tremendous amount of equipment is needed to make this project possible. There are multiple pieces of steel pipeline through which the newly mined sand will travel. One of the most instrumental pieces of equipment is the very tall, wheeled machine that measures the grade/slope of the beach prior to and after renourishment. This particular apparatus is constructed on-site (see photo below). Trucks will back out onto beach on mats to provide the parts for construction.
So, what happens during this renourishment process? The sand is dredged from offshore areas through a series of large pipes. This pipeline extends from the shoreline into the ocean and connects to more pipeline that runs laterally along the dry beach. The sand is discharged as a water/sand mixture through the pipeline. Bulldozers are used to distribute the sand to mirror the shape of the existing beach.
How will this impact your stay here in Cherry Grove Beach? It shouldn’t have a negative impact aside from the unattractiveness of the equipment. Crews will be working around the clock to ensure this process takes place as quickly as possible – often with 500 feet of beach being completed per day. The beaches will remain open and access to our beautiful shore should remain the same. The only exception will be for equipment that is off limits which will be clearly marked. One benefit is the amazing amount of shells that this process tends to dredge up. The entire process should be completed within 5 to 7 days (weather permitting).
In the long run, this beach renourishment process will do so much to beautify and enlarge the shore along Cherry Grove Beach. To learn more, you can click here. There is also a live tracker available so you can get real-time updates about the activity.
Boulineau’s is your one-stop shopping destination for everything you need for a great beach vacation here in Cherry Grove. Since 1948, we’ve been providing locals and visitors with a unique one-of-a-kind shopping experience coupled with exceptional customer service. Stop by today and experience the Boulineau’s difference. You’ll see why Boulineau’s is “where everybody goes”!