Kiawah Island's 10 mile long beach is one the island's major attractions. Like all beaches, Kiawah's beach undergoes periods of erosion (loss of sand) and accretion (gain of sand). The Town of Kiawah Island monitors the island's beach for changes and conducts management activities as needed. Coastal Science and Engineering is the Town's beach monitoring firm.
The 2011 beach survey indicates that Kiawah's beach continues to remain healthy and most areas are accreting sand. The east end of the beach continues to change dramatically but the net result is a more stable shoreline with lots of new dune vegetation.
Public Beach Access
Beachwalker County Park is a public beach access located on the western end of Kiawah Island. This Charleston County park offers a wide, sandy beach with a designated swimming area, dressing areas, outdoor showers, restrooms, picnic area with grills, snack bar (seasonal), beach chair & umbrella rentals. Lifeguards are on duty seasonally. For more information and park hours, visit the Park website.
In 2006, the Town conducted a large scale Beach Restoration Project on the eastern end of Kiawah Island. This project successfully stopped intensive erosion on the eastern end of the island adjacent to the Ocean Course clubhouse. A total of 550,000 cubic yards of sand was moved onto the beach by land-based equipment. The total project cost was $3.6 million, the majority of which was paid by the Town of Kiawah Island. Financial contributions to the project also came from the Kiawah Island Golf Resort, Kiawah Development Partners, and the Kiawah Island Community Association.
Monitoring of this projectís success is conducted annually in conjunction with the overall beach survey. In addition, the mitigation plan for the project requires annual monitoring of habitat changes (including ground elevation surveys and aerial orthophotography) and periodic piping plover surveys of the project area through 2012.
Two companies provide beach concession services for the Town. Each company provides service to a specific section of the beach. Beach chairs, umbrellas, and recreational equipment are available for daily or weekly rental. The equipment can be rented at the beach or you can call one of the companies for a reservation.
Island Beach Service: 843-813-4125 or 813-4126 Kiawah Island Recreation: 843-768-6001
The Beach Patrol program started in March 1995. The Town contracts out this service with a private vendor. The Beach Patrol is responsible for monitoring the activities of the beach, answering questions from residents and visitors, responding to lost child calls, answering routine medical calls, monitoring the weather and swimming conditions, and informing residents and visitors about Town ordinances that regulate beach activities (e.g. keep out of dunes, leash regulations, etc.).