Folly Beach County Park is one of three beachfront parks managed by the Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission (CCPRC). In addition to Isle of Palms County Park and Kiawah Beachwalker Park, Folly Beach County Park has served as a public beach access area for thousands of Charleston County residents since its opening in 1982. With the park’s closure following damage sustained by Hurricane Irene in 2011, CCPRC’s other beach parks have seen dramatically increased attendance levels. Severe erosion has breached Folly Beach’s dunes, washed out parking lots, and rendered certain facilities inaccessible. Closure of the park has eliminated public access and parking for over 400 cars on the west end of Folly Island.
The Commission is diligently working hard to reopen Folly Beach County Park (FBCP) to serve the public once again. As we move forward, we will be taking into account the many environmental factors of the site.
After a comprehensive study by Coastal Science and Engineering, CCPRC applied for permits with the Army Corps of Engineers to renourish the beach at FBCP and build a structure that would extend 745 feet out to sea. Based on results from the study, the construction of a terminal groin would help retain the beach of FBCP over time. Sand would be excavated from a shoal in the Folly River and a terminal groin would be located at the south end of the southernmost parking area. Specifically, the beach will be renourished with up to 415,000 cubic yards of sand excavated from a borrow area in the Folly River, which contains approximately 450,000 cubic yards of sand. Material will be piped from the borrow, following an easement established under the federal Folly River navigation proj¬ect. Groin construction will take place coinciding with renourishment so that the newly constructed berm will provide a platform on which to build the groin. It will trap and hold sand until it has reached capacity, at which time the southerly flowing sand will bypass the structure. The groin will be built from either steel or concrete sheet pile with a protective cap and armor-stone toe protection.
Renourishing the beach not only adds public access, but also restores and protects the resources of FBCP from erosion and storm events. Secondarily, the restoration will provide a beach and dune area that will facilitate sea turtle nesting and shorebird habitat.
Stay tuned to our website for updates on the status of this beloved park.