Inlet Relocation Project

The Seabrook Island Property Owners Association Beach Project “Relocation of Cap’n Sams Inlet” 

Seabrook Island property owners and visitors love the beach for strolls, walking their dogs, and enjoying the surf.  In May 2015, for the third time in the past 30 years, Seabrook Island, in cooperation with federal, state, and local authorities and with Seabrook Island property owner funding, relocated Cap’n Sam’s Creek using scientific island inlet relocation methodology.

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According to Janet Gorski, President of the Seabrook Island Property Owners Association (SIPOA), “One year later, Seabrook Island has exceeded anticipated benefits of the inlet relocation.  Accretion of sand has not only widened the beach, but replenished sand dunes, not only providing greater habitat for the turtle nursery so important in South Carolina, but also strengthening protection of maritime forest in an era of increasingly higher tides.  In the aftermath of inlet relocation and in concert with Seabrook Island’s stewardship and monitoring of its beach environment, numerous shore birds, including several endangered species, are enjoying the enhanced beach habitat for migration and nesting.  As a testament to the interest in protecting shore bird natural habitat since inlet relocation, the Seabrook Island Birders group was formed in late 2015 and now has over 180 members.  In short, relocation of Cap’n Sam’s Creek has improved Seabrook Island’s beach environment for all users.”

On the Scene: Audio Interview with Steve Traynum, Project Engineer from Coastal Science and Engineering

According to Lee Weishar, Ph.D., chair of the Best Restored Beach Committee responsible for making the selections: “The Best Restored Beaches contest can be compared to an old-time beauty contest… if you like what you see, you vote for it. I look for commitment and dedication to the project. I want the applicant to make me love his or her beach.”

“The Seabrook Island restoration project clearly demonstrates the importance of developing a long -term management plan that woks with the natural processes to overcome severe erosion,” said Weishar. “This project shows that a beach restoration project can be successful in a dynamic environment if you clearly understand the coastal processes and develop a plan that works with the coastal processes to achieve the restoration of the beach.”

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