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Wrightsville Beach renourishment project complete

Posted on March 19, 2024

WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH, N.C. (WECT) – After a slew of setbacks and fights for federal funding, the Wrightsville Beach renourishment project is complete.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spent the last two months adding more than one million cubic yards of sand to the shoreline, which makes the beach about 200 feet wider.

“At the end of the day, we put about one million cubic yards of sand on the beach to provide that extra protection, you know, what we call coastal storm risk management to protect the beach in the event of a coastal storm,” said Dave Connolly with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

Connolly says crews worked to bring sand from Masonboro Inlet over to the eroding beach. The Corps was able to use sand from the inlet once emergency funds were secured for the project.

“We’re standing on the beach and low tide is not for another three and a half hours and you can see the amount of berm we have, you know, already and tide still going out,” said Connolly. “So, what that berm does is that’s the protection, you know, the main point of coastal storm risk management projects.”

Mayor Darryl Mills, who testified in front of Congress about the need to protect the beach, helped to secure emergency federal funds to help pay for the $14 million project.

Mills hopes that a wider beach will bring more people to the town.

“Just as a resident, much less mayor, it’s just fabulous,” said Mills. “I mean, look at this. You couldn’t ask for a better setting.”

Mills says while protecting the shore is the primary purpose of the project, people visiting the town can enjoy the secondary benefits.

“Those who have been here before and knew what the beach could be, you know, they’re probably saying, ‘Okay, beach nourishment has again happened. We’ll go back, not a problem.’ But the folks that may have been new to the beach that were seeing it for the first time and were in the crowded conditions, will they come back? [That is] a question to be answered,” Mills said.

Wrightsville Beach is on a four-year renourishment cycle, so another project the size of this one will not happen until 2028.


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