Popular SC coastal park may be closed forever

File Photo (Chris Hauff/WCIV)

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (AP) - A popular beachfront park on the South Carolina coast may never reopen because of a dispute between park officials and conservationists.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports the park has been closed since Hurricane Irene caused heavy damage in the summer of 2011.

Park officials want to install a rock or wood wall extending into the water from the shore to catch sand rebuild the beach. The Coastal Conservation League it will appeal and go to court if officials approve that wall.

But if that happens, Charleston County Park and Recreation Commission Director Tom O'Rourke says the county will walk away. He says the $3 million groin needs to be installed now or there simply will be no more beach to protect.