NTB Phase 5. (Courtesy/Town of North Topsail Beach)

NC - North Topsail tackles multiple nourishment projects, to receive 1.7M tons of sand by 2024

Contractors have been hauling truckloads of sand onto North Topsail’s beach over the last few months, and work will continue until April. (Courtesy/Town of North Topsail Beach)

NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH — A coastal town straddling the border of Onslow and Pender counties has four projects simultaneously under way, adding sand to its beaches and improving the sustainability of its future.

“I’ve never seen as many large projects happening in North Topsail Beach at the same time,” Mayor Joann McDermon said at Wednesday’s board of aldermen meeting.

Some of the work is FEMA-reimbursable from hurricane damage; one is being funded by a state grant and part of the funding is coming out of the town’s pocket. But in total, more than $18 million is going toward beach renourishment, with roughly 1.3 million cubic yards of sand added to North Topsail Beach.

North Topsail Beach withdrew in July 2021 from a federal United States Army Corps Engineer 50-year project it was planning to partake in with neighboring Surf City. It cited the expense of the town’s portion of $33.7 million — for only 4 of 11 miles of beach — was more than it could afford, as estimates increased 193% between 2012 and 2021.

The town has been receiving small portions of sand over the last four years, the majority FEMA-supported due to damage from Hurricane Florence in 2018.

In November, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began placing 160,000 cubic yards of dredged sand in the northernmost portion of the beach, from the New River Inlet.

The project wrapped Feb. 28, two weeks later than planned.

To augment the dredging, the town is beginning this week to haul in another 45,000 cubic yards, 15,000 of which are FEMA-funded. FEMA’s portion will cover $600,000 of the $1.8 million project, leaving the town to foot the rest of the bill. The town will pay its $1.2 million portion out of its beach nourishment fund.

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