Major re-nourishment project makes progress strengthening coast after hurricane Florence

ATLANTIC BEACH (WITN) A major beach re-nourishment project is continuing to make progress to restore and strengthen the coast following hurricane Florence.

Atlantic Beach approved an $8,000,000 sand replacement project, which is set to begin in January 2020.

Experts say sand will be relocated from dredges and used to rebuild dunes. It will also widen the flat portion of the beaches.

They plan to rebuild the beach to be stronger and to be able to withstand future storms.

The town's mayor, Trace Cooper, said their beaches were already due for re-nourishment prior to Florence, so this project is expected to significantly improve the well-being of coastal communities.

"It protects the private property, it provides recreation beaches and protects a ton of tax base that funds all of Carteret County. So this really isn't just an Atlantic Beach or Bogue Banks issue. If we have healthy beaches, we have a healthy local economy and healthy tax base, and everyone benefits from that," said Cooper.

Emerald Isle and Indian Beach had similar work done last year for phase one of restoring all of Bogue Banks. Atlantic Beach's mayor said this marks the second phase of restoring all Carteret County beaches.