Does beach nourishment really work? Doesn’t the sand just eventually wash away?
The primary goal of beach nourishment is to protect infrastructure, such as N.C. Highway 12, from damage due to storm surge and overwash. By widening the existing beaches through nourishment, we are creating a larger buffer between the Atlantic Ocean and the highway, which ultimately provides it with a higher level of protection and stronger defense against storms. It’s important to note that shoreline erosion following a beach nourishment project is expected and does not mean the project was unsuccessful. The additional sand that is moved off the dry sand beach still stays in the system which helps knock down wave energy before it gets to the shoreline.
How often does beach nourishment have to be done?
Beach nourishment projects in Dare County are designed to last approximately five years under normal conditions. At the end of each five-year interval, renourishment (maintenance) projects are necessary to restore the shoreline.
Why is beach nourishment so important?
The barrier island beaches of the Outer Banks are beautiful, but they are also incredibly fragile. Beach nourishment is vital in protecting our infrastructure: roads, utilities, and homes. In addition to protection, beach nourishment also provides a wider recreational beach for residents, visitors, and property owners to enjoy, as well as additional habitat for various species of wildlife.
Looking for answers to general project questions, funding and maintenance, the construction process, and more visit the FAQs page on the More Beach To Love website.