Why There Will Be More Beach to Love on the OBX
*** UPDATED JUNE 30, 2017 ***
Changes are coming to the Outer Banks of North Carolina soon which will give residents, visitors, vacationers and the marine wildlife more beach to love with OBX beach nourishment projects slated for Spring of 2017. The proposed beach nourishment projects are expected to provide sand and widen beaches in the Outer Banks towns of Duck, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills.
So what does this mean for those of us who live, work, visit and vacation on the OBX? We're glad you asked. Here's what we know thus far. Stay tuned and we'll keep you up-to-date on more of what we know when the project begins. For now, here's the scoop on the 2017 Outer Banks beach nourishment project.
Exactly what is beach nourishment?
According to Dare County and Outer Banks Shoreline Management, the definition of beach nourishment is:
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.
What is the expected timeline for the 2017 OBX beach nourishment project?
That's a very good question. Currently, the proposed timeline given to us by the Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company's anticipated project schedule is as follows:
Town of Duck
Town of Kitty Hawk
Town of Kill Devil Hills
Town of Southern Shores
Town of Buxton
It's best to visit each local OBX town website for the the most current, real-time information on work schedules and areas of impact. You can find those links listed at the end of this post for your convenience and reference.
This information is not binding and is meant to provide estimated construction times for planning purposes. The beach nourishment start dates are subject to change. This information will be updated as new information becomes available.
Will the OBX beaches be open during the beach nourishment?
The good news is yes! The beaches will remain open during this time with limited or restricted access in certain areas during the actual construction phase. More details on this will be forthcoming as the projects get underway.
Have there been OBX beach nourishment projects done in the past?
In 2011, over 4.5 million cubic yards of sand was placed along the designated ten-mile shoreline project area in the Town of Nags Head. You can find out more information about the completed 2011 Beach Nourishment Project in Nags Head here.
In 2014, beach nourishment was completed by NCDOT in September to protect a section of NC 12, locally known as "S-Curves” or "S-Turns” north of Rodanthe on Hatteras Island. In conjunction with NCDOT, crews with Great Lakes Dredge and Dock Company, LLC completed dredging and placed 1.7 million cubic yards of sand along the shoreline in the designated project area. Read more about the completed NC 12 Improvement Projects here.
Where can I find the latest updates and information on the Outer Banks beach nourishment?
We're excited to have more beach to love on the Outer Banks and hope you are, too. The benefits are absolutely worth it!