The towns of Duck, Kitty Hawk, and Kill Devil Hills are going to see beach nourishment in 2017. Dare County has set up a page for residents and visitors to follow the progress of beach nourishment and to see what areas of the beaches are going to be nourished along with a time frame for completion.
Beach nourishment is the process of pumping sand onto an eroding shoreline to widen the existing beach. Sources of sand may include a nearby sandbar, a dredged source such as an inlet or waterway, or an offshore borrow site along the ocean floor. The widened shoreline provides increased defense from coastal storms and beach erosion protecting property, communities, and infrastructure located along the shoreline.
Be sure to register your email address to receive updates on the project. Find out more information here.
More than ten years ago Mark chaired a committee set up by the Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce to help educate the public, elected leaders, and business owners about beach nourishment. He spoke with many groups that were interested in the benefits of beach nourishment including environmental impacts, construction, costs, and funding options. At the time an increase in the sales tax was proposed to generate funds to pay for the project. That option was ultimately defeated by a public referendum but the committee helped push the project to the next steps.
After that defeat, Nags Head decided to go it alone on their project. The results have been positive. Millions of dollars in property values have been saved in Nags Head with the completion of the beach nourishment project. While several major hurricanes have battered Nags Head, the beach and dune system protected many homes, businesses, and infrastructure.
Opponents argue that sand is lost to the ocean, but it is still in the nearby shore system.