A project to protect Carteret County's beaches will come up short this winter. This Army Corps of Engineers' project is pumping sand from Brandt Island at the Morehead City state port onto Atlantic Beach.
Originally the sand was supposed to widen the strand all the way to Pine Knoll Shores, more than seven miles of oceanfront. But fine sand and silt is not piling up, and experts say there won't be enough sand to cover all the beach. That could leave parts of the Crystal Coast without badly needed sand for storm protection and for tourists next summer.
The Western end of the Crystal Coast will also be getting sand this winter from a separate project to relocate the Bogue Inlet channel. But there will not be enough sand there, either, to fill in the gaps in the middle of the island before dredging work stops next spring.