White Point Swash
Due to the complete stop of flow in and out of White Point Swash in the last few days, the Town requested a meeting with all interested parties to discuss options. Tuesday morning representatives from Horry County and its consultant, North Myrtle Beach, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Town of Briarcliffe Acres, and Briarcliffe Acres Association attended. A representative from Ocean and Coastal Resource Management (OCRM) did not attend.
The lack of flow and flushing of the water in the swash area has resulted in increased pollution and higher salinity in that area. Plant life is also dying.
Although we received permission from the Corps of Engineers to open up the channel, drain the swash down to normal levels, and permit water exchange in the swash to restart during the meeting, OCRM did not approve the action. OCRM is close to approving our application for restoration of the dunes and swash to their historical position and level and are hesitant to approve a temporary measure.
OCRM and DHEC are in discussions today. If they can complete the approval process for the original permit request within the next two or three weeks, then it is beneficial to wait for that before we reopen the swash. We should know Wednesday or Thursday where they stand. If their approval process is going to extend into May, then we feel certain they will issue an approval for us to reopen the swash in the next week or so.
We expect the Corps of Engineers approval of the ten- year permit in mid May. Unfortunately, since Turtle Nesting Season is May 1 - October 31, this will be too late for us to restore the dunes this spring. Removal of the sandbar and restoration of the dunes will not happen before December. All government entities involved are supportive and we should be able to restore flow to the swash shortly.
Huston Huffman, Mayor