The barges Great Lakes Dredge and Dock will bring to the Outer Banks for beach nourishment.

The start date is a little later than originally planned, but Outer Banks beach nourishment is going to come to the towns of Duck, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills soon. There is also a possibility that a small section of Southern Shores will be included.

On Tuesday and Wednesday of this past week, representatives of Coastal Planning and Engineering of North Carolina and Great Lakes Dredge and Dock, the onsite contractor visited Duck, Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills to talk to the public about what was going to be happening on the beaches.

The original schedule had nourishment beginning in April in Duck but that schedule has been moved back to May. The timetable as it now stands will be:

Duck: Late May with completion late June or early July

Kitty Hawk: Mid June with completion mid August

Kill Devil Hills: Early August with completion mid September

Julien Devisse of Coastal Engineering stressed that schedules were tentative. He pointed out that weather and mechanical breakdowns could change the schedule.

The work will proceed in 1000’ sections along the beach and during construction, for safety reasons, no one from the public will be allowed on that part of the beach.

There are two borrow areas for the project located about six miles offshore. Devisse and the Great Lakes representative, Armand Riehl, felt the sand in the borrow area matched the beach sand very closely.

According to Reihl there will be two dredges on hand. The dredges are able to work in seas up to 6-8’.

Nourishment will widen the beaches; the beach provides protection for the infrastructure behind it by dissipating the power of the waves. Over time some of the sand on the beach will be lost; however, that is part of the design plan. The lost sand typically forms a sandbar that helps to break up the power of incoming waves.

Federal regulations do require monitoring for sea turtles. Monitors will be with the dredges at all times. On the beaches, the Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (N.E.S.T.) has agreed to do the monitoring.