Cherry Grove dredging clear to begin

LTC Edward P. Chamberlayne, District Engineer of the Charleston District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, signed the long awaited Federal Permit authorizing the City of North Myrtle Beach's Cherry Grove canals dredging project.

"We are excited to receive this important final authorization for this dredging project," said North Myrtle Beach Mayor Marilyn Hatley, "and we appreciate the nine years of hard work invested by Council Members, staff, and citizens to reach this milestone. Of course, today's achievement would not have been realized without the help of the Horry Legislative Delegation and the willingness of environmental regulatory agencies to craft a mitigation program that will offset any environmental impact that may accrue from implementation of the project. A lot of hard work still lies ahead of us but today is a happy day for North Myrtle Beach."

During the course of the permitting process, the City took unprecedented steps to secure a change in State law and a Supreme Court decision to overcome environmental regulatory and private claims of ownership issues.

The City was also instrumental in the enactment of State legislation that allowed the canals to be included in a municipal improvement district.

The federal permits issued by the Army Corp of Engineers was issued Thursday morning.

The project is expected to begin in late 2014 after the project is put out for bids and additional funding is identified.

The channels have silted in over the years and cannot be used at all for any activity. The project will make them viable again.