WASHINGTON, D.C. — Three Outer Banks beach towns will get sand from the seafloor in federal offshore waters to re-nourish beaches in an unusual, one-time project set to begin next spring.
The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, or BOEM, announced Tuesday, it had signed an agreement with Dare County to provide up to 4.83 million cubic yards of sand from federal waters as part of a shoreline management project for the towns of Duck, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills. The project will use sand from the federal outer continental shelf, between 4.1 and 6.5 miles offshore, to re-nourish about 8 miles of beach – more than half of the 15 miles of oceanfront shoreline adjacent to the three towns.
“BOEM is pleased to support Dare County in this project, knowing how important these beaches are to the local economy,” said BOEM Director Abigail Ross Hopper. “This project will help protect infrastructure from storm damage, mitigate erosion that threatens biological, recreational and cultural resources, and help sustain habitats that support various birds and animals, including sea turtles,” Hopper said.
BOEM said the project will help protect vulnerable public infrastructure, including highways that serve as storm evacuation routes, reduce flooding of roads and homes and protect public and private development.
“Dare County is pleased to collaborate with the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and the towns of Duck, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills to bring this much needed nourishment project to fruition,” said Dare County Manager Bobby Outten. “This nourishment project will provide substantial storm protection for our coastal communities and ensure robust shorelines are available for our residents and visitors to enjoy for many years to come.”
The sediment will be dredged from two areas. BOEM and the Army Corps of Engineers are the lead agencies on the project. The agencies have partnered with the county and the towns and prepared individual National Environmental Policy Act studies for each of the three town’s re-nourishment projects. In addition, BOEM and the Corps jointly consulted on endangered species, essential fish habitat, National Historic Preservation Act coordination and Coastal Zone Management Act consistency.
To Learn More
View the summary environmental assessments for each of the three towns: