Fri., January 21, 2011 12:37pm (EST)

Tybee Island Rejects Sand Offer
By Orlando Montoya
Updated: 4 years ago

TYBEE ISLAND, Ga.  —  
Tybee Island is eroding.  The US Army Corp of Engineers offered to help with the problem.  But Tybee Island officials say no.  They're worried about safety and tourism.  (photo Orlando Montoya)
Tybee Island is eroding. The US Army Corp of Engineers offered to help with the problem. But Tybee Island officials say no. They're worried about safety and tourism. (photo Orlando Montoya)
Tybee Island City Council has rejected a US Army Corp of Engineers offer to place sand just off its beach.

The Corp plans to dredge up a sand-clay mix from the Savannah River as part of a harbor deepening project.

They offered to put some of the dredged material off Tybee to help with beach erosion.

But local officials worried about the prospect of clay balls washing up on the beach and a sandbar that would create dangerous currents.

"People have lost their lives as a result of the current sand bar," says Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman. "We were worried that we would be creating another situation like that."

They also doubted the effects on beach erosion.

"This was not placing sand on the beach," Buelterman says. "This was placing dredged spoils just off the beach."

The city's rejection is a $10 million savings for federal taxpayers.

It routinely costs local, state and federal taxpayers millions of dollars to renourish the beach -- the prime tourist attraction in a community that relies heavily on tourism.