BULLS ISLAND AFTER IRMA
A Short Report
We've had some calls and emails since the storm asking how Bulls Island fared in Hurricane Irma. The short answer is that it did pretty well. The dock, Dominick House and service areas are all in good shape. Power is back on. Some loggerhead sea turtle nests were overtaken by storm surge (as detailed in the Post & Courier). And, yes, there is significant erosion on the beach. With sustained northeast winds and the high tide, this was to be expected on this remote barrier island.
The freshwater impoundments are full. For birders, this means that migratory waterfowl will have an ideal place to overwinter and we can look forward to a good diversity of species.
"Bulls Island is a dynamic place. Every time I go to the island, it has changed, even if it has only been a day. Sometimes the change is dramatic, like after a big storm. That is the story of a barrier island," says Chris Crolley of Coastal Expeditions. "There are 300-year-old oaks on Boneyard Beach today that I have never seen before Irma. Covered in barnacles, they were churned up from the ocean floor and deposited back onto the beach. I don't know the last time they were above water- many decades at least- and are now they are part of the Boneyard experience again."
Barrier islands protect our estuaries, sea islands and the mainland from taking the brunt of offshore storms like Irma. Because it has remained undeveloped and has no paved roads, it is able to perform this function better than the heavily populated islands to the south.
The only constant on Bulls Island is the perpetual change-- and that change can be beautiful. Come to Bulls Island and see for yourself.
The ferry is running 4 days a week with 2 departures each day.
P.S. If you have specific questions about Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge or Bulls Island, please contact the refuge management for the official word.