Beach at Ocean Hill, Corolla.

Beach at Ocean Hill, Corolla.

Is beach nourishment coming to Currituck County? If it does, it’s going to be a couple of years in the future. For the first time in its history the county has authorized a study of its beaches to determine if nourishment is warranted.

The study will begin this spring and will be a three year study.

As far as we can tell, Currituck County is the only political unit in coastal North Carolina that has never studied whether beach nourishment is needed on their beaches, let alone actually nourished the beaches.

Although it is difficult to determine with absolute certainty, Corolla is the only place from Virginia Beach to the South Carolina state line where beach nourishment has not occurred.

Corolla and Carova, are governed by Currituck County. A number of Corolla residents and property owners have felt for years that at the least a study should be undertaken. County commissioners have been reluctant.

Why Beach Nourishment Now

It is difficult to say why at this point in time the commissioners have approved the study.

It is possible that a lawsuit brought against the county by a Corolla homeowner’s association—the Corolla Civic Association (CCA)—may be playing a role in the decision.

At the heart of the lawsuit is a 2004 North Carolina law giving permission for the county to charge an occupancy tax. The law specifically indicates that beach nourishment is one of the uses for the revenue. However, the law also gives county commissioners very broad latitude in how to use the money.

The CCA lawsuit contends the county has spent inadequate funds from the tax on promoting Outer Banks tourism or on beach nourishment.

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