Dredging project attracts shell hunters to Holden Beach


HOLDEN BEACH, NC (WWAY) —  Brunswick County visitors and residents have seen many changes over the last few months including the number of shells along the shoreline.

This comes as the dredging project in Holden Beach wrapped up.

“The shells are everywhere,” Jerry Boling said. “They are so plentiful. You just sit in one place and pick them up.”

Jerry Boling and his wife spend a lot of time at the beach looking through what washes up.

“We have been doing this since 1972 and it’s still thrilling to walk along and the find the shells,” Boling said.

The Central Reach Dredging Project has pumped up sand and all that lies on the ocean floor.

“You don’t have to get down in the water,” Boling said. “They are right there. You just walk along and pick them up.”

This couple has found all sorts of shells, conchs, scallops, shark eyes, olives, you name it, but they are not the only ones on the beach. The word is out, but it seems like there is plenty to pick from. Holden Beach Mayor Alan Holden said he has lived here his whole life and has never seen this many people through January, February, and March shell hunting.

For Nancy Garrett, this is a time for relaxing.

“It’s called playing in God’s sandbox,” Garrett. “Every time someone comes by, they would stop and say ‘what are you finding?’ and they would come back with a shovel and a rake and be finding them too.”

Whether you spend minutes or hours searching, the movement of sand has many feeling like they struck gold.

“We are almost going to have to start bringing them back for other people,” Boling said.

The town said pipes and equipment will be soon be gone from the beach just in time for the tourist season in Brunswick County.

Categories: Brunswick, Local

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