The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has signed an agreement with Dare County, North Carolina, to provide up to 4.825 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 shore protection project, using sand from the seafloor of the federal Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), will renourish approximately 8 miles of beach, which is more than half of the 15 miles of oceanfront shoreline adjacent to the three towns.
Dredging is expected to begin in the spring of 2017.
“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.
Nourishing the beach will meet several shore protection goals.
The project will help protect vulnerable public infrastructure, including N.C. Highway 12 and U.S. Highway 158, which are critical evacuation routes. Additionally, it will reduce flooding of roads and homes behind the shoreface, which will help first-responders react during emergency situations.
Finally, the project will protect public and private development, including the beaches that are vital to the local economy.
The sediment will be dredged from two borrow areas located between four and six-and-a-half nautical miles offshore in federal waters.
To meet its stewardship responsibilities, BOEM, in partnership with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE), the county and the towns prepared individual National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analyses for each of the three projects.
In addition, BOEM and the USACE jointly consulted on Endangered Species, essential fish habitat, National Historic Preservation Act coordination, and Coastal Zone Management consistency.