Beach Nourishment, the long-standing question and constant struggle of pros and cons.
The one thing we all agree on is that we don’t want to lose our beautiful beaches and want to preserve and protect our community. The coastline on the Outer Banks has been vulnerable for many years. Our tiny sand bar takes an enormous beating from the mighty Atlantic Ocean. Unfortunately, we cannot control mother nature however, we can take precautions to help make the outcome of her wrath a little less devastating and a little more manageable.
Our entire coast is extremely exposed
When you see the Outer Banks of North Carolina from an aerial view, it is very apparent that the threat of devastating erosion is inevitable. Our barrier island sits out a little bit further into the ocean; some may even speculate that we could classify it as a sandbar. In some ways, our island benefits from this extreme exposure. Activities such as fishing and surfing reap the rewards from this extreme exposure however, it is dangerous for development and Oceanfront properties.
In 2011, the Town of Nags Head began a nourishment project of their own paving the way for the rest of the exposed Outer Banks towns to follow in their footsteps. The towns of Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk and Duck decided to join forces and implement a beach nourishment project with a start date of late April 2017 and a projected completion of October 2017.
So, what is beach nourishment?
Beach nourishment is the process of pumping sand from the ocean floor and distributing it on to the beach’s surface to elongate & widen the existing beach area. This process will protect our land mass from storm surge and help to diminish future erosion. Beach nourishment does not however stop erosion but it does help manage it. Mother Nature is a powerful force and we cannot stop her from creating storm surge, hurricanes or bringing nor’easter’s our way. The only defense we have against her is to add additional protection (sand) to the shoreline and that is exactly what beach nourishment does, it is designed to delay the inevitable receding of our coastline.
The benefits of beach nourishment far outweigh the inconveniences.
This project will help protect the longevity of our beaches by pumping in additional sand to create a much-needed dune barrier between the rogue ocean waves that arise during a storm and the foundation of our ocean front homes, businesses and NC State Highway 12 better known as beach road. The local officials are diligently working with Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company to make this project move forward as seamlessly as possible; but Rome was not built in a day and good things take time to accomplish.
Some inconveniences will occur such as: large cylinders laying on the beach pumping sand while bull dozers and other types of large equipment move the sand along the designated beach area, the possibility of not being able to conveniently walk to the beach access closest to your rental property or even use the beach access at your oceanfront rental property may occur. However, the current projection is that they will only be working on 1 to 1 and a half mile stretches of the beach at a time.
This plan is designed to cooperate with visitors and their ease of beach access, each section could take anywhere between 4 to 6 days to complete. Although these things may seem inconvenient during the moment, something even more inconvenient would be the loss of our homes, businesses and NC State Highway 12 due to extreme storm surge and erosion. We want to preserve and prolong our beautiful coastline so that you and your families can enjoy our beaches and vacation here for many more years to come.
Here are 5 reasons WE LOVE BEACH NOURISHMENT and you should too!
- Without it there will be no beach to love or visit!
- Additional sand helps make our beaches wider, giving everyone more space to layout and enjoy themselves.
- Protection from storm surge, keeps the properties you frequently vacation in safe from erosion.
- Beaches stay intact for future generations to enjoy.
- Beach nourishment is more environmentally friendly and does not leave extreme hazards on the beach or in the water like other alternatives.