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County Beach Commission wants to know about volume of sand in dunes, vegetation lines

Posted on October 31, 2022

The Carteret County Beach Commission voted unanimously Monday afternoon to ask county commissioners to fund additional annual Bogue Banks beach survey work to measure the volume of sand in oceanfront dunes and to determine the location of vegetation lines.

The board met in the Emerald Isle Board of Commissioners’ meeting room and online via GoToMeeting.

The county contracts with its beach engineering firm, Moffatt & Nichol, for one and often two beach surveys each year, which determine health of the beaches and whether nourishment projects are needed in the near future.

Moffatt & Nichol contracts the work to Geodynamics, a Newport company.

Each year, Moffatt & Nichol conveys the result of the spring survey to the beach commission in a “state of the beaches” report.

The contract with Moffatt & Nichol is expiring, and beach commissioners and Ryan Davenport, the county’s shore protection office manager, thought it was a good time to add the additional survey work.

The new annual contract with Moffatt & Nichol, if approved by the county, will be for $198,332, including about $12,300 for the additional work, for the spring surveys from 2023 through 2027. That does not include an additional $146,314 for a fall survey, if needed, after significant hurricanes or tropical storms. That one determines how much sand is lost in storms and forms the basis for county requests for money from the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Beach Commission member John Brodman, mayor of Pine Knoll Shores, said during the meeting he thought both new pieces of the annual survey work will be good. Measuring dune sand volume, he said will further “pinpoint where all the sand is going” as it moves during normal weather and in storms.

The work will also help the county and towns determine when and where to put up sand fences.

The measurement program dates to 1999 when the county got into beach nourishment in a concerted manner after hurricanes Bertha and Fran in 1996, Bonnie in 1998, Dennis in 1999, and most notably, Floyd the same year. The monitoring program has grown since then and now includes 122 transects along Bogue Banks in addition to 24 transects along Shackleford Banks and 18 along Bear Island in Onslow County, just across Bogue Inlet from Emerald Isle.

Davenport will convey the beach commission’s request to the county.


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