20 Jan 2023
Most people know it as the Duck Pier, but its official name is the Army Corps of Engineers Field Research Facility. It’s been a part of the Outer Banks since 1977 and in that time it has become one of the if not the foremost nearshore ocean research centers in the world.
Although civilian research is an important part of its mission, its real heritage has always been in understanding shoreline processes to make military action in the surf zone safer and more effective.
That role was highlighted by a ribbon cutting on Thursday of a new 4000 square foot building created specifically for the Engineer Research and Development Center (ERDC) at the FRF.
The new building is specifically designed and intended for research into how our nation’s military can perform more effectively in the surf zone. Although much of the work the scientist do at the facility will have civilian application, its primary role is supporting the military.
some of the projects the ERDC team are working on include using drones to collect nearshore data, feed the information to shipboard computers, so team members can determine surf zone conditions. As one of the scientists put it at the ribbon cutting, it’s somewhat like programming a surfer’s mind.
The new facility will even have a secure room for top secret discussions.
With its 1/3 mile long pier and 46 years of data on file, the FRF has a well-deserved reputation for research and application. The data that has been collected is so extensive and consistent over time that according to one of the speakers at the ribbon cutting, the FRF is in the Guiness Book of Records the with the “…longest continuous monitoring of waves, current, imagery, beach, that has been measured…”
Because of security concerns, it has been some time since the public has been allowed to tour the FRF. Hopefully tours will begin again.
There are so many surprises on the Outer Banks. Stop by for a stay in a Brindley Beach Vacations home and be prepared to be amazed.