Media Advisory: Media Tour Will Show Good and Bad Places to Build on a Beach

August 14, 1996

Myrtle Beach, S.C., is a mecca for millions of vacationers and vacation home buyers. Duke University's Orrin Pilkey and his colleagues also think the area is primed for huge property losses in the next big hurricane due to its own phenomenal growth coupled with some people's propensity to build and live where they shouldn't.

Pilkey is a professor at Duke's geology department and Nicholas School of the Environment, as well as director of the university's Program for the Study of Developed Shorelines. On Oct. 16-17, he and David Bush, an assistant geology professor at the State University of West Georgia, will hold a media briefing and subsequent tour that will point out better and worse places to build along the Grand Strand -- and why.

They have chosen the Myrtle Beach area, a classic example of a heavily developed shoreline, to illustrate themes in two new books and a video -- all of which will also be provided to reporters.

The video, "Living on the Edge," and one of the books, "Living by the Rules of the Sea," provide tips to potential homeowners on building sites to avoid, construction techniques likely to minimize storm damage, and where to find the best sources of information about flood insurance, evacuation routes and storm risk.

The second book, Living with the South Carolina Coast, is a revised edition of an earlier work substantially updated with new information such as "risk maps" of all South Carolina shoreline communities. These maps chart the relative risk, block by block, of building on various parts of South Carolina's system of barrier islands.

Reporters also will receive:

·Risk maps of all North Carolina barrier islands.

·Updated rankings of all North and South Carolina islands with regard to danger.

·Risk tables for each island in both states' barrier island system.

·An overview of lessons in North Carolina from Hurricane Bertha.

·A discussion of beach nourishment as a solution to shoreline retreat -- both nationally and in Myrtle Beach.

Pilkey and Bush will be joined by a number of other experts. Those will include Gered Lennon, a former state coastal geologist for South Carolina, and Paul Gayes, a coastal geologist at Coastal Carolina University.

The briefing will begin at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Oct. 16, in the Holiday Inn - Oceanfront at 415 South Ocean Boulevard in the heart of downtown Myrtle Beach. On Thursday, Oct. 17, a morning tour -- guided by Pilkey, Bush, Lennon and Gayes -- will cover approximately 25 miles of area beachfront developments.

A limited number of rooms will be available for the night of Oct 16 -- at $69.00 (cityview) and $79.00 (oceanfront) -- at the Holiday Inn-Oceanfront. Because of substantial convention business in October, reporters should make their reservations by Sept. 17 at the latest. To make reservations for the "Pilkey tour," call 1-800-845-0313.

Duke University

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