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FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Folly Beach is using new marshfront data to update its 2023 Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan.The barrier island floods more and more every year due to sea level rise. That’s why the city hired a local coastal geologist to map the marsh and see how it plays into the landscape.Elko Coastal Consulting President Nicole Elko and those working with her spent the summer of 2022 surveying and mapping what’s called the critical line of the marsh. They took satellite measurements every 20 ...
FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - The City of Folly Beach is using new marshfront data to update its 2023 Sea Level Rise Adaptation Plan.
The barrier island floods more and more every year due to sea level rise. That’s why the city hired a local coastal geologist to map the marsh and see how it plays into the landscape.
Elko Coastal Consulting President Nicole Elko and those working with her spent the summer of 2022 surveying and mapping what’s called the critical line of the marsh. They took satellite measurements every 20 feet to the elevation of where the marsh ends and where the upland ecosystem begins.
“In our survey of the critical line, we found that the critical line sits at an elevation of about eight feet relative to our tidal datum. So, if you’re out here on Folly, we talk about six-foot tides, we talk about eight-foot tides-- that’s normally your king tide. It’s that one that’s starting to come up over the marsh, perhaps cause some flooding on the island,” Elko explains.
This information can be used to map sea level rise and understand how the landscape will change in coming years. For the city, they will use the information to adjust irrigation, assess the seawall and plan infrastructure to grow with the changing environment.
“The guidance tells us that events that we’re seeing now are going to happen 10 times more often by 2050. So, in less than 30 years. We are going to be seeing these inundating king tides which are happening once a month now happen 10 times a month. So it’s going to have a significant impact on all coastal property as well as the way the city is managing the infrastructure here on the island,” Elko says.
For people who live on the island, like Kristen Phillips Kappel and her daughter Drayton, the natural wonders are what drew them to Folly.
“I like when we walk down the beach and find like different kinds of animals like one time we found this really weird thing and we looked it up. It was called like, an onion...a sea onion,” Drayton says.
The mother daughter duo believe cataloguing, protecting, and growing with nature is essential to Folly’s community.
“It’s absolutely enhanced our life to be able to have this beauty of nature around us and kind of live in synchronicity with it. We take a lot of walks and we probably have our best talks when we’re walking,” Kristen says.
Elko says while the State and Army Corps of Engineers along with hired coastal geologists have surveyed the beaches and replenished that land for year, there hasn’t been the same focus on the marsh. Yet, the marsh also has a significant impact across barrier islands.
“The marshes are the nursery grounds for all of the fish that end up in the ocean as well as oysters, crabs, etc. It’s very important resource for us to maintain with sea level rise with climate change over the next five to 10 years. We’re already seeing some more routine flooding on the island. So, the ocean is kind of crossing that critical line boundary more often than it has in the past,” Elko says.
Elko will present her findings to Folly Beach City Council at Tuesday’s regular meeting. Her advice to the city is to collect new data every three years on the marsh.
You can read her report in the agenda on pages 3-18.
Copyright 2023 WCSC. All rights reserved.
FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD) – Folly Beach is gearing up to welcome in the new year with a flip flop drop and Bill Murray look-a-like polar plunge.The annual tradition of the flip flop drop has ushered in the new year at Folly Beach since 2011. A giant pair of sparkling flip flops will descend from high above Center Street as a crowd of celebrators count down to the new year on Saturday, ...
FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD) – Folly Beach is gearing up to welcome in the new year with a flip flop drop and Bill Murray look-a-like polar plunge.
The annual tradition of the flip flop drop has ushered in the new year at Folly Beach since 2011. A giant pair of sparkling flip flops will descend from high above Center Street as a crowd of celebrators count down to the new year on Saturday, December 31st.
Crews with Folly Beach Public Safety were practicing for the big event on Wednesday.
“The crowds, they keep coming to the Flip Flop Drop- they normally stop off at the business establishments and get revved up as we get closer to about 11 o’clock or so. The crowds begin building up around the ladder truck in anticipation of the flip flop drop,” said Deputy Director Rocky Burke with Folly Beach Public Safety.
There will also be a Bill Murray look-a-like polar plunge that happens on New Year’s Day. Participants are encouraged to dress in their best Bill Murray costume before jumping into the cold Atlantic Ocean in front of the Tides hotel.
“A lot of brave souls come out for that and jump in that cold water,” said Burke. “You know, on January 1, dressed in bikinis and things of that nature and a lot less clothing, braver than me.”
And of course you can always enjoy the brand new Folly Beach Pier which opened on the day after Christmas. A lot of people are already taking advantage of what is once again another beautiful place to spend some time enjoying Folly Beach.
“We just want people to come have a good time. Spend your money, have a good time and do it in moderation- be safe about what you’re doing and enjoying the flip flop drop,” Burke said.
Festivities for the Flip Flop Drop start at 11:00 p.m. on New Year’s Eve with the drop happening at midnight. Meanwhile, the Bill Murray costume contest takes place New Year’s Day at 10:00 a.m., following by the plunge at 11:00 a.m., and a party at the Tides hotel at noon.
FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - The new, reconstructed pier on Folly Beach opened to the public Monday, Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission officials say.The pier was closed to the public on Oct. 19, 2020 for a complete rebuilding project that was expected to take approximately 28 months, but the work was finished ahead of schedule, CCPRC spokesperson Sarah Reynolds said.“We are thrilled to be opening the new Folly Beach Pier just in time for the holidays,” CCPRC executive director Kevin Bowie said. “T...
FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - The new, reconstructed pier on Folly Beach opened to the public Monday, Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission officials say.
The pier was closed to the public on Oct. 19, 2020 for a complete rebuilding project that was expected to take approximately 28 months, but the work was finished ahead of schedule, CCPRC spokesperson Sarah Reynolds said.
“We are thrilled to be opening the new Folly Beach Pier just in time for the holidays,” CCPRC executive director Kevin Bowie said. “The Folly Beach Pier is a Lowcountry icon and we look forward to welcoming our community and visitors for generations to come.”
Most of the new 1,049-foot-long Folly Beach Pier is 25 feet wide, with a wooden walkway and railings built on concrete pilings and substructure. Two locations of the pier were slightly widened and covered, at 33 feet wide, allowing additional space for fishing.
The pier stands 22 feet above sea level on 228 concrete pilings. The Diamond Head platform at the end of the pier is 7,500 square feet in size and the pier includes shade structures and benches.
In the event of a large storm, wooden walkway panels are designed to break away.
The new pier offers unobstructed ocean views, more efficient pedestrian access and modern improvements.
The newly rebuilt pier also boasts a longer lifespan, expected to be more than 65 years, than most wooden piers.
Pier operating hours are currently 8 a.m. to sunset (operating hours vary throughout the year).
Amenities at the Folly Beach Pier include restrooms, the Pier 101 Restaurant and Bar, beach access, showers, and the Gangplank Gift & Tackle Shop which offers rod rentals and also sells gifts, sundry items, refreshments and tackle and bait.
The pier’s special events are scheduled to return in 2023, including the popular fishing tournaments and Moonlight Mixer dance series.
In addition, the Charleston County Parks Foundation will host a special fundraising event called Folly Pier Fest on March 11.
The pier’s rectangular deck behind the Pier 101 restaurant, along with the gift shop and restrooms, reopened May 2021. For additional information on all that the Folly Beach Pier has to offer, visit www.ccprc.com/follypier.
The Folly Beach Pier’s parking lot will undergo renovations for a brief period in January. During this time, the parking lot along with the pier, restrooms, gift shop, beach access, and Pier 101 restaurant will be closed. Please stay tuned to CharlestonCountyParks.com for details on the timeline for this closure.
The pier dates back to the 1930s, but the most recent Folly Beach Pier, which is owned by CCPRC, opened on July 4, 1995. The entirely wooden pier eventually began deteriorating, its pilings impacted by marine borers as well as wear and tear from the ocean environment.
CCPRC crews began dive inspections of the pier pilings in 2013, and encapsulated many of the pilings in an effort to strengthen them, kill the marine borers, and maintain the integrity of the pier. Though the pier was maintained regularly to keep it safe for the public, pile deterioration is a continuous process that cannot be stopped. Wooden timber pile piers typically have an average life expectancy of 20 to 25 years.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.
FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - A date has been set for Folly Beach residents to vote on whether or not the city will limit investment short term rental licenses.This comes after a citizen petition to cap short term rental licenses at 800 units, which represents about one third of the island.After verifying the signatures, the city decided not to outright adopt the petit...
FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCSC) - A date has been set for Folly Beach residents to vote on whether or not the city will limit investment short term rental licenses.
This comes after a citizen petition to cap short term rental licenses at 800 units, which represents about one third of the island.
After verifying the signatures, the city decided not to outright adopt the petition, but to put it to an island-wide vote.
Now residents are preparing to cast their ballots. The special election will be Feb. 7, 2023. The election is at-large and by majority. Permanent residents, or people whose primary address is on Folly Beach can vote. Voters must be registered by Jan. 8th to participate.
Ann Peets, a nearly decade long Folly resident, has been actively following the petition.
“Basically it’s every single-family homeowner with 4% tax status. Any condominium owner or any long-term renter whose primary residence is Folly Beach can vote,” Peets says.
The following precincts will be able to participate: Folly Beach 1, Folly Beach 2, James Island 1A, and James Island 1B. Polling will be from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. at Baptist Fellowship Hall (61 West Indian Folly Beach) on the day of the election.
Peets signed the original petition for a cap and plans to vote in favor of the cap. She says it’s important that every resident is prepared to vote and knows how the petition will affect them and Folly as a whole.
“For any information or answers or frequently asked questions as you’re getting ready to vote, we encourage you to check the Folly Beach Residents Facebook page, where we post all the facts and frequently asked questions,” Peets says.
If you cannot vote in person on Feb. 7 in the special election, you can vote early or absentee. Early voting is from Jan. 23 – Feb. 3 of 2023. Early voting hours are 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday at the Charleston County Board of Elections office (4367 Headquarters Rd. North Charleston, SC 29405). To learn how to absentee vote you can reach out to the Charleston County Board of Elections at 843-744-8683.
On behalf of those who signed the original petition, Peets says she is looking forward to the vote.
“We feel like we had a really good, high number of people turn out for the petition to really share their views. And we just hope that everybody remembers that to take it all the way through. They’ve got to go to this referendum and cast their ballot. But we are feeling very positive. We feel like there’s a lot of groundswell around making sure that Folly stays Folly and stays funky and family and livable, and basically that we can strike a balance with the investors on the island so that everybody can kind of keep things in a nice balance between us,” Peets says.
Copyright 2022 WCSC. All rights reserved.
FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) — You won't be hearing the sounds of turtles splashing their way to the ocean yet from Folly Beach and surrounding sea turtle hot spots.But efforts continue to make sure when sea turtle season kicks off on May 1st that the creatures' path to a long life is as clear as can be.It’s pretty darn critical. We’re constantly, every season dealing with disorientations with the turtles. Where they get distracted by the lighting on the beachfront," said Eric Lutz, the City of Folly Beach's ...
FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) — You won't be hearing the sounds of turtles splashing their way to the ocean yet from Folly Beach and surrounding sea turtle hot spots.
But efforts continue to make sure when sea turtle season kicks off on May 1st that the creatures' path to a long life is as clear as can be.
It’s pretty darn critical. We’re constantly, every season dealing with disorientations with the turtles. Where they get distracted by the lighting on the beachfront," said Eric Lutz, the City of Folly Beach's Director of Public Works.
Lutz says the City's ordinance 151.45 deals directly with artificial nighttime lighting coming from properties right off the beach.
That lighting can impact a hatchling's travels during hatching season.
City officials and marine biologists say the light draws the turtles toward that source instead of following the horizon and straight into the Atlantic Ocean.
According to Lutz, “we’ve seen tracks of 40 and 50 turtles heading the wrong way, not towards the ocean, dead turtles on the beach the next morning. It happens more often than people would think.”
The City's Business License Official, Stacee Ritche said, “We have a very active turtle season here....Mothers are 30 years old before they can come to nest. And if there are lights on or you know, noise or holes or anything that, that could hamper them nesting they will turn around and go back to the ocean.”
Both Lutz and Ritchie say they want enforcement of the ordinance to include warnings and education about what needs to be done instead of just giving out fines.
The rules impact homeowners, property owners, property managers and renters.
Ritchie says, "the guests can receive a citation. The property manager can receive a citation, as well as the owner.”
According to Ritchie at least five violations led to convictions in court last year. Those convictions came with a $500 fine.
However, Ritchie says all of those convicted have fixed up their homes to comply. And many more warnings were given.
Lutz tells us it's not necessarily locals who violate the ordinance, "in fact the majority of our issues most years tend to be with the rental properties because they have new guests coming in every week that don’t know the rules. They may not be from the coastal areas.”
Lutz and Ritchie say it's up to the owner or manager of the property to inform any guests about the rules of the beach.
Some of the injured turtles find their way to the South Carolina Aquarium.
Cait Crosby, the Senior Sea Turtle Biologist tells us, "any sea turtle that is found on our coastlines or in our waterways is brought to us the by the South Carolina Department of Resources Marine turtle program."
Crosby says it's important to keep turtle movement during the night free of artificial factors if possible.
Crosby and the Folly Beach officials say compliance can start now, months away from May and there are tips to handle the situation while walking the beach this Summer.
"If you're going to be out on a beach, a sea turtle nesting beach specifically, you want to have a red flashlight. with you if you can. Or a red filter on your cellphone," says Crosby.
Meanwhile Lutz has several tips that should be followed to get your property ready:
"After 10 pm during turtle season they have to have lights out or they have options for shading on the interior of the windows, blinds. They make special blinds you can use to black it out, or you can actually switch to low wattage bulbs, similar to like a bug type bulb.”