Beach Nourishment Across the Outer Banks

As of the writing of this article in 2012 there has only been one beach nourishment project completed on the Outer Banks.

Beach nourishment is a very expensive undertaking for a town to take on and caries the political risk for the municipal leaders if the sand washes away shortly after project completion. Funding such large projects has plagued the Outer Banks for the past 30 plus years. The federal government used to finance beach nourishment projects all across the United States but that well has run dry leaving localities little choice..

The town of Nags Head has recently finished pumping sand onto the beaches in the lower part of town from Blackman St. south to the end of South Nags Head. Areas and homes which were once threatened with being washed away now have a wide new beach. This nourishment project has been funded with a combination of tax assessments and funds supplied by the county.

Dare county sent up a beach nourishment fund to help the municipalities cope with eroding shore lines. Nags Head was the first to take advantage of this fund and the other towns have their eyes on the fund to possibly enlarge the size of their beaches.

The fund is slow to build up with only a one cent sales tax replenishing it so it will be awhile in between nourishment projects.

The beaches on Hatteras Island have a problem getting nourished more detrimental than finding enough money to pay for the project. The beaches on all of Hatteras Island are part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and pumping sand on the beach is prohibited so the likely hood of beach nourishment is slim at best.

On a smaller scale, the subdivisions of Pine Island in Corolla and Sanderling in Duck have their own private beach nourishment projects where sand is trucked in to replace the lost sand.


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