Folly Beach spending thousands to remove abandon boats and debris from river; clean up begins Monday

Local News

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCBD) – The City of Folly Beach is looking to remove debris and dozens of abandoned vessels from the Folly River and Folly Creek to make it safer for boats.

The abandoned vessels and debris have been polluting Folly River and Folly Creek for nearly a decade. The Folly Beach Public Safety Department says that it must be cleaned to make the waterways safer to navigate, but the clean-up is going to cost thousands of dollars.

Just to get rid of one of the abandoned vessels from the Folly River and Folly Creek will cost $10,000 dollars. City of Folly Beach officials say that they are splitting the total project costs 50/50 with the help from Federal funds.

One local says he’s looking forward to seeing the Folly River and Folly Creek debris free.

“I think it will be nice to not have some of the sailboats that are sunken out in the middle of the channel, but besides that they are really just an eye sore,” Craig Jurgonski, Local Resident said.

According the Folly Beach City Administrator, Spencer Wetmore, the river and creek were cleaned ten years ago, but discarded & shipwrecked boats & debris quickly began to pile up again. Now, it’s worse than ever. City officials say that South Carolina doesn’t have strict laws, like neighboring states, to prohibit the abandoning of boats. It is for this reason that they believe that some of the boats were brought in from out-of-town and left as the owners collected insurance. Some of the other vessels they believe were abandoned after being damaged in storms.

“I have a feeling it will probably last for a while, until we have the next big storm,” Craig Jurgonski, Local Resident said,

The City of Folly Beach says that the removal of these abandoned vessels is necessary to make Folly River and Folly Creek safer to navigate and to protect the environment. They are looking at ways to prevent the buildup of abandoned vessels and debris in the future.

Divers will be out as soon as Monday, June 24th to begin removing the abandoned vessels and debris. They estimate the entire clean-up process taking several of weeks.

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