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  • Writer's pictureAl Friedman

2019 Beach Nourishment Information and Progress Update!

I wanted to post an article by explaining the true purpose of beach nourishment and all information you need concerning The 2019 beach nourishment project.

The Town is conducting a 90-120 day-long beach nourishment maintenance project, which started May 1, 2019. Sand is being placed on 10 miles of beach from the Bonnett Street public beach access at 2919 South Virginia Dare Trail (near Mile Post 11) south to the town line with the National Park Service (near Mile Post 21). Dune stabilization measures, such as sprigging and fencing, will also be included in the project. Note - the schedule will likely change often as weather conditions and other issues arise.


June 28, 2019 Beach Nourishment Update

The Dredge Liberty Island returned to Nags Head early on Thursday, June 27, and is hard at work nourishing the beach in the vicinity of the submerged pipeline near the Epstein public beach access at about Mile Post 15. However, this evening, June 28, the dredge will sail to Norfolk to retrieve a critical piece of equipment currently being repaired at a shipyard there. We expect the Liberty Island to return to work on Sunday, June 30. You can track the dredge's whereabouts at Marine Traffic and search for Liberty Island.

Once the dredge returns, construction will progress north over the next 10 days or so to tie into the beach that has already been completed near Mile Post 14. After the tie in is completed, construction will progress south from the subline about 5,000 feet.

The Juncos Street public beach access near Mile Post 19.5 has been re-opened fully to the public. The Forrest Street public beach access near Mile Post 15.5 remains closed to parking, however pedestrians may still use the access

In the photo, a landing pad is being built on June 27, 2019 to begin using the submerged pipeline located near Mile Post 15. Construction over the next 10 days or so will progress north to tie into the already nourished beach seen in the distance. After the tie in is complete, construction will progress about 5,000 feet to the south.

Beach Nourishment Background

While nearly all beaches are naturally prone to gradual erosion, adverse weather conditions and severe storms, such as hurricanes, can cause significant and sudden changes in the shoreline. 

Beach nourishment provides protection designed to retain and rebuild natural systems while reducing or preventing the consequences of beach erosion. Ongoing maintenance, provided through periodic nourishment, is required to protect our beachfront’s accessibility, natural beauty, and ecological vitality, as well as our community's economic viability. 

What causes erosion?

Energy, wind, waves, tides, currents, and storms all generate energy that impacts our barrier islands and shape the shoreline and beaches. Naturally occurring erosion removes sand and deposits it offshore. Over time, waves return some of the sand to the beach. Storms with heavy surf and high winds can cause erosion to occur with increased intensity and frequency.

Why Does Nags Head conduct nourishment?

Healthy beaches absorb the brunt force of waves, wind, tides, currents, and storms, allowing dunes to protect infrastructure. Beaches and dune systems require nourishment projects to protect, maintain, and preserve the entire coastal system. 

What are the benefits of nourishment?

Beaches are an integral part of the quality of life in Dare County and support homes, businesses, and related infrastructure (roads, utilities) for many residents and visitors. More than just a playground, beaches are environmental treasures and tremendous economic assets for our community. In addition, beaches provide protection for coastal estuaries, upland structures, and the mainland. 

Where does funding for beach nourishment come from?

Nags Head's nourishment is likely the largest locally-funded project of its kind in the United States. Project financing is covered by a combination of town-wide property taxes, including revenues from a municipal service district, and a contribution from Dare County.  

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