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Sunday, October 28, 2012 - 6:00am

$10,000 Fine For Tybee Dune Removal

A Tybee Island hotel owner accused of having workers remove part of a sand dune has agreed to spend $10,000 to fund environmental education programs as part of a settlement with the state Department of Natural Resources.

Harry Spirides, owner of the Ocean Plaza Beach Resort, signed a consent order with the state Friday. In July he admitted to hiring laborers to shovel sand from a dune behind his hotel in the middle of the night over three weeks in February and March.

Spirides says he "had absolutely no ill intent" in disturbing the dune. He has said he was trying to keep sand off a nearby walkway.

Investigators noted the walkway is 60 feet from the dune.

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