ATLANTIC BEACH, N.C. (WNCT) – Work crews are spending the next few weeks on the beach.
The work is part of Carteret County’s Post Florence Beach Nourishment project. Crews began filling sand at Atlantic Beach on February 8.
“The main significance for us is that it keeps our beaches wide so that there’s plenty of room for people to enjoy them and it keeps the ocean away from the homes. So the wider the beaches, the safer the homes are,” Morgan Kerns, director of recreation, communications, special events, the town of Atlantic Beach.
The project starts with a dredging ship offshore, digging sand from the ocean. That sand is pumped onto shore through pipes, where equipment spreads it out.
Town leaders say hurricanes like Florence tear away at beaches, but those are just part of the reason for this process.
“Sand erosion is natural, sand is going to move with time. So between different storms and the way the beach works, it was time to replenish it so it’s not too thin in places,” said Kerns.
Part of the project includes the western portion of Atlantic Beach. It’s the first time that area has gotten new sand in 17 years.
As of Friday morning, 25 percent of the project is complete.
The next step is planting sea oats which will eventually grow to form sand dunes –a natural barrier for homes and roads.
Town leaders are asking homeowners to hold off on building decks or steps for now.
The project running from Atlantic Beach to Emerald Isle is expected to be completed sometime in mid-May.