Erosion threatens South Carolina beaches because the ocean and storms gradually eat away at the sand that makes up the beach itself. Without sand, there is no beach, and a significantly reduced tourist economy. The ocean’s depth, current, and geology can give clues as to the rates at which certain beaches will erode, and where it all goes. As of 2009, the Eastern coastline recedes 30 cm a year, and is re-sanded even seven or so years at an enormous expense. Studies being done by the USGS can help the local government determine where the best dredging locations are based on current ocean patterns so effectively recollect and recycle the swept-away sand.
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