Wrightsville Beach re-nourishment well underway


Mark Brennan - Flickr

Beach nourishment ongoing along North Carolina’s beaches

Tyler Newman, Assistant News Editor

With warm weather driving many to the beach in recent weeks, many have noticed the barges offshore and the pipes that sit on the shore of Wrightsville Beach.

As part of a new project, 700,000 cubic yards of sand will be dredged from the ocean by the time the newest beach re-nourishment is complete, later in the spring.

Awarded a $13.2 million contract in October of last year, the project’s undertaking in early February.

About a mile of Wrightsville Beach’s 4 ½ mile span will be nourished, handling the major erosion that’s occurred from Stone Street in the south to the Holiday Inn Resort in the north.

Beach re-nourishment involves dredging sand from the ocean floor and sending to different locations along a beach via a pipe. This is usually done to help protect beaches and communities against erosion from the ocean, which occurs heavily during hurricane season. The sand will be dredged from Mason’s Inlet to the south.

According to StarNews, this is the eighth project of this type in recent decades. $9.5 million of the total contract will be dedicated to Wrightsville Beach. The remaining amount, roughly $3.7 million, will focus on Ocean Isle Beach. That project will begin in April, dredging an estimated 250,000 cubic yards of sand.

The Wrightsville Beach project is expected to wrap up in late March or early April to make way for bird nesting, which occurs during the warmer months of the year.

Meanwhile, the Ocean Isle Beach project will be completed by the end of April, as turtle nesting season begins in May.

Carolina Beach and Kure Beach finished their most recent beach re-nourishment projects in 2016. Topsail Island underwent re-nourishment at various points for several years between 2013 and 2015.

For now, as temperatures slowly begin to warm back up, beachgoers are instructed to avoid work taking place along the shoreline at Wrightsville Beach.

Tyler Newman can be found on Twitter @tnewman39.