Southeast
The Coastland Times

NC - New framework in place for beach nourishment on national seashore

Dare County has two major beach nourishment projects under consideration.One is to replenish the beach area in Buxton. The second project is to nourish for the first time a beach area in Avon.

Dare County has two major beach nourishment projects under consideration.

One is to replenish the beach area in Buxton. The second project is to nourish for the first time a beach area in Avon.

Both beach locations are part of the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

In a major move to help with these and other anticipated projects, the Cape Hatteras National Seashore staff wrote an Environmental Impact Statement and Sediment Management Framework for the national seashore.

On May 12, 2021, the National Park Service South Atlantic-Gulf regional director Stan Austin and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast regional director Leopoldo Miranda-Castro signed a Record of Decision for the framework.

David Hallac, superintendent of the seashore and all national park units in eastern North Carolina, told Dare County commissioners on May 17 that all environmental studies are completed for any such projects. The work greatly speeds up National Park Service decision-making on applications for special use permits for four beach actions:

– Beach nourishment projects on the oceanfront and soundside with sand from offshore waters or sand trucked from other locations.

– Habitat restoration at locations like the end of Hatteras Island or Green Island in Oregon Inlet. This action may use thin layer placement.

– Dune nourishment and sand relocation, such as beach grass planting and sand fencing installation by the National Park Service or permittee.

– Emergency breach repairs: When storms create inlets or overwash areas that damage roadways, such a breach “may be addressed by trucking, staging, and pumping sand in from nearby or other locations to fill in the island breach. A breach is a condition where a channel across the island permits the exchange of ocean and sound waters under normal tidal conditions…”

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