Beach Renourishment project wrapping up along Crystal Coast

Crews planting sea grass on newly constructed dunes
Published: Jun. 30, 2020 at 8:30 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) -The Carteret County Shore Protection Office is getting closer to finishing phase two of three phases on a beach renourishment project.

Sea grass is planted along the Crystal Coast
Sea grass is planted along the Crystal Coast(witn)

As part of phase two, nearly 10 miles of shoreline along the Bogue Banks received two million cubic yards of sand, and now crews are placing 700,000 plants. The plants are being placed on the new dunes and are made up of three types of sea grass.

Greg Rudolph with the Shore Protection office says these plants play a big role in securing the dunes. “The plants help stabilize the dune, but they also help build up the dune because they capture the wind blown sand,” said Rudolph.

The renourishment project began after Hurricane Florence wreaked havoc on the beaches in 2018.

“We reconstructed the dune after Florence, and that dune was vegetated so what we did is pretty much recreate what was here before Florence. So, that was a vegetated dune before and now it will be after the project,” said Rudolph.

Replacing the sand that was lost to the hurricane is important and leaders in beach towns like Pine Knoll Shores say without it, homes would be in danger. “It’s our initial stage of protection from storm surge, it’s sometimes our sacrificial dunes, they go away before the primary frontal dune gets beat up and we could start losing properties and homes and we don’t want that to happen,” said Brian Kramer, Town Manager for Pine Knoll Shores.

Right now crews are hand planting the sea grass that will cover the newly constructed dunes and will spend the next week or two finishing up.

The renourishment project for the Bogue Banks is paid for with a combination of funding from FEMA, the state and Carteret County. Once phase two is complete, planning for phase three will begin. That project will focus on adding sand to a small stretch in Emerald Isle, which is the only area that has not been renourished on the island.

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