Town-Funded Project Replenishes Beach Erosion Threatening Homes

Some residents of Ocean Isle Beach are finally seeing progress in a years-long effort to rebuild beaches to protect their oceanfront homes.

About 135-thousand cubic yards of material is being pumped onto an eroded area on the east end of town that has been washed away by nearby Shallotte Inlet. The area lost an average of six feet of beach a month between summer 2004 and summer 2005.

Sandbag walls that have protected homes and town infrastructure are overwashed at high tide.

The Brunswick County town paid for the $650,000 project, which was expected to be finished by this Sunday.

The Army Corps of Engineers wouldn't cover the cost because the area is in an inlet hazard zone, meaning the agency couldn't be sure the sand wouldn't wash away a few months later.

Town officials are hopeful it will stay.