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What is beach nourishment?

Beach nourishment is the process of pumping sand onto an eroding shoreline to widen the existing beach. Sources of sand may include a nearby sandbar, a dredged source (such as an inlet or waterway), or an offshore borrow site along the ocean floor. The widened shoreline provides increased defense from coastal storms and beach erosion, protecting property, communities, and infrastructure that are located along the coast.

While the Outer Banks coastline is beautiful, it is also very fragile. Storms, high winds and tidal changes all contribute to beach erosion. To restore and preserve our fragile coastline, Dare County and the towns of Duck, Kitty Hawk, Southern Shores, Kill Devil Hills and Nags Head have implemented important beach nourishment projects important that are critical to the future of our communities.

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this causes and are confident you understand the importance and necessity of this project so you can continue to return and enjoy the Outer Banks beaches for many years to come. We hope you will choose to make the best of your vacation should you find your stay impacted by the beach nourishment project.

Seaside Vacations cannot predict when or where these jobs will begin or how long they will last. Since we have no control over these situations, no compensation or moves to other properties are possible. 

2022 Outer Banks Beach Nourishment Plans

Beach nourishment projects require management as time goes on. The next round of re-nourishment is tentatively planned for 2022 in the towns of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, and Nags Head. 

*All projects are scheduled to take place this year. As contractors provide tentative construction schedules, this table will be updated. Please check back for more information and sign up for area-specific email updates using the links listed below.

During equipment staging, contractors begin placing distribution pipeline and staging heavy equipment.

Nags Head’s project is planned for a tentative timeframe beginning early August of 2022 with a projected completion of about 30 days after the project begins. It will take place on the beach between Milepost 16 near Jennette’s Pier and the town line less than five miles to the south. A tentative project schedule and map may become available in the spring of 2022 for the Nags Head project. 

  • Approximately 4.45 miles of shoreline from 8031 South Oregon Inlet Road (near Milepost 16) to 10435 South Oregon Inlet
  • Click here for more information about the project in the Town of Nags Head.
  • Click here to view the Town of Nags Head project map.

Duck's project is planned for a tentative timeframe beginning mid-September with a projected completion of about 20-30 days after the project begins. 

  • Approximately 1.6 miles of shoreline from the Army Corps Pier north to Skimmer Way.
  • Click here for more information about the project in the Town of Duck.
  • Click here to view the Town of Duck project map.

Southern Shores' project is planned for a tentative timeframe beginning early to mid-August with a projected completion of about 35-40 days after the project begins.

  • Approximately 3.8 miles of shoreline from the Duck/Southern Shores town line to the Southern Shores/Kitty Hawk town line.
  • Click here for more information about the project in the Town of Southern Shores.
  • Click here to view the Town of Southern Shores project map.

Kitty Hawk's project is planned for a tentative timeframe beginning early June with a projected completion of about 35-45 days after the project begins.

  • Approximately 3.97 miles of shoreline from the Southern Shores/Kitty Hawk town line to the Kitty Hawk/Kill Devil Hills line.
  • Click here for more information about the project in the Town of Kitty Hawk.
  • Click here to view the Town of Kitty Hawk project map.

Kill Devil Hills' project is planned for a tentative timeframe beginning mid-July with a projected completion of about 25-35 days after the project begins.

  • Approximately 2.74 miles of shoreline from the Kitty Hawk/Kill Devil Hills town line to 270 feet north of Prospect Avenue.
  • Click here to view the Town of Kill Devil Hills project map.

More Information About Beach Nourishment

Sand will be pumped onto the shoreline by offshore dredges to widen the existing beaches, which have suffered from erosion in many places. The goal of these beach nourishment projects is to replenish and protect the homes and beaches we all love, from coastal storms that threaten our shoreline. These projects will be completed in sections to minimize the impact on visitors to the area and ensure that the beaches are still accessible for your enjoyment.

About 1,000 feet of the beach will be directly impacted during construction at any one time and a portion of this area may be closed. Construction is anticipated to impact oceanfront properties between 3-5 days. Once a section is pumped into place it should be re-opened for use within 24-48 hours. Sand ramps will be placed over a temporary pipeline at every public access and then in intervals of no more than 200-300 feet, allowing people to get across and enjoy the beach seaward of the pipeline. There will be a wide beach after nourishment, giving people large areas seaward of the pipeline to enjoy. 

A construction schedule map for the Nags Head beach nourishment project will be posted on this site in the spring of 2022. This map will be updated daily during the project to provide the latest beach closure information. For updates on the town of Duck, please click here.

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this causes and are confident you understand the importance and necessity of this project so you can continue to return and enjoy the Outer Banks beaches for many years to come. We hope you will choose to make the best of your vacation should you find your stay impacted by the beach nourishment project.

The current beach nourishment schedule can be found at DareNC.com.

We encourage you to sign up for email updates from the towns and receive the most current construction information straight to your inbox or check DareNC.com for updates.


Frequently Asked Questions:

Will I be able to get to the beach while the project is underway?

The short answer: Yes! If construction limits access directly in front of your property, you may need to enter the beach at an alternate beach access.

 

The long answer: Residents and visitors will still be able to access the beach while the projects are taking place; however, a portion of the approximately 1,000-foot area that is actively under construction at any given time may be closed temporarily in order to ensure public safety.

 

If construction operations limit or restrict access to the beach directly in front of your property, you may need to enter the beach at an alternate beach access.

 

Beach nourishment construction operations are anticipated to impact the properties along a particular stretch of shoreline for a period of three to six days, although this can change depending on a variety of factors. Once that section of sand is pumped into place, the area will likely be reopened for use within 24-48 hours.

 

Sand ramps will be placed over a temporary pipeline at every public access and then in intervals of 300 feet, allowing people to get across and enjoy the beach seaward of the pipeline. There will be a wide beach after nourishment, giving people large areas seaward of the pipeline to enjoy. The newly built beach may be a bit darker than the old beach, but it will quickly bleach out from the sun.

 

Or, you may take the opportunity to visit beaches throughout Dare County which offer public access outside of the immediate project area, or visit one of the many attractions located on the Outer Banks such as the Wright Brothers National MemorialJockey’s Ridge State Park, the Duck Boardwalk, or lighthouses found along our coastline.

Is construction noisy?

You will be able to tell if construction operations are underway in front of your property. The sounds you will typically hear are the back up alarms from bulldozers and trucks, which are required by federal law. Lights will be used on the beach throughout the night and may be visible from homes.

Why does dredging take place in the summer months?

Dredging operations offshore of the Outer Banks typically take place in the summer months because it is much safer for the crews working on the offshore dredge. Frequent late fall, winter, and early spring storms make working off our shore very dangerous. The summer and early fall are the safest times to perform the work. The decreased risk of safety and anticipated decreases in productivity in the winter months when sea conditions can shut down dredge operations were found to drive the costs of the projects up to a point where they would have no longer been financially viable.

How will beach nourishment affect my visit to the Outer Banks?

Pipelines will be laid along the beach parallel to the shoreline to allow sand to be pumped from the offshore borrow source onto the active construction site. This pipeline will be visible on the beach; however, sand ramps will be built over the pipeline in order to provide residents and visitors with safe and easy access to the shoreline of the Atlantic Ocean.

 

Visitors who are vacationing in areas where a beach nourishment project is underway may notice the presence of bulldozers, loaders and excavators working on the beach during their stay. In addition to this heavy earth-moving equipment, small sections of the beach within the towns and villages where beach nourishment is taking place may be closed for a few days in order to ensure the safety of the public during construction operations.

 

Please be patient with our much-needed project – beach nourishment is vital to our towns’ future.

 

We apologize in advance for any inconvenience this causes and are confident you understand the importance and necessity of this project so you can continue to return and enjoy the Outer Banks beaches for many years to come. We hope you will choose to make the best of your vacation should you find your stay impacted by the beach nourishment project.

 

Seaside Vacations cannot predict when or where these jobs will begin or how long they will last. Since we have no control over these situations, no compensation or moves to other properties are possible. 

 

*This schedule is preliminary and may change based on project bid results.

Will they pump sand onto the beach in more than one place at a time?

Because we have such a short weather window in which to complete the project, there may be more than one section of our beach affected at a time.

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