Kitty Hawk, KDH take steps on nourishment project

By on June 9, 2020

Work on the final mile of Kitty Hawk beach nourishment  in September 2017. (Dare County/Youtube)

Two of the four Dare County municipalities that are expected to partner on a 2022 beach nourishment project have given the green light for the Coastal Protection Engineering of North Carolina, Inc. to move forward with the critical design and permitting steps needed prior bidding and construction of the project.

The Kitty Hawk Town Council and the Kill Devil Hills Board of Commissioners both unanimously approved a contract with the Wilmington, N.C.-based firm on June 8, while the Duck Town Council is expected to take up the contract on June 17 and Southern Shores Town Council will hold a public forum on June 16 before committing to the project.

Project Manager Ken Wilson told the Voice that over the next six to eight months, his firm will be providing assistance to the municipalities in the way of engineering design, environmental permitting and identification of offshore sand resources. The firm provided the same services for the four municipalities and Dare County as part their joint beach nourishment project in 2017.

“We’re going to have crews out there doing some additional investigations offshore,” Wilson noted, adding that in addition to a borrow site used for the 2017 project, there may be some areas that could have usable sand that are a little closer to the Southern Shores and Duck project.

“If we can identify those and if we can develop them into permitted borrow sites, it could potentially bring the cost of the project down,” he added. Final designs will also be drafted, taking into account any improvements that could be incorporated based on the results of the 2017 project.

As part of the 2017 nourishment project, nearly four million cubic yards of sand was pumped on 1.7 miles of shoreline in Duck, 1,500 square feet in Southern Shores, 3.58 miles in Kitty Hawk and 2.6 miles in Kill Devil Hills. Wilson estimates that the towns, working collaboratively, realize a 15 to 20 percent cost savings as well as improve the speed and efficiency in which project goals can be achieved.

“There are a lot of benefits that the four counties have seen by working together on this,” Wilson asserted. Once design and permitted are finalized, Wilson noted there will likely be a future contract in which his firm will develop bid documents and perform some construction oversight.

Beach nourishment projects are funded through a combination of funding from municipal sources as well as Dare County’s Beach Nourishment Fund.


  • surf123

    It is hard to fathom that taxpayer money (it is tax whether we or tourists pay) on something that will disappear quickly. Retreating is the only reasonable solution. It will be messy and painful to watch houses fall, but it makes zero sense to keep throwing money into a bottomless pit. At the very least the oceanfront homes need to be let fall so that the entire beach is accessible.

    Tuesday, Jun 9 @ 9:30 am
  • tim

    Looks summer 2022 will be another exciting summer here in Kitty Hawk.

    Tuesday, Jun 9 @ 9:34 am
  • Ongar

    Throwing more taxpayer money into the ocean. Good job.

    Tuesday, Jun 9 @ 12:51 pm
  • Elayne

    About every hundred years the sands from OBX roll out to sea and then they roll back again. This is why the Army Corp of Engineers stoped funding and doing the beach nourishment more than 10 years ago. It is a waste of money to fight Mother Nature (God to some). It seems to me that she will have her way no matter.

    Tuesday, Jun 9 @ 2:02 pm
  • Lou Briccant

    Let the waterfront property owners foot the bill for it… they’re the ones with the most skin in the game. Based on the rental rates listed for those houses they can handle it.

    Tuesday, Jun 9 @ 8:30 pm
  • John

    We would like to voice our opinion about the beach nourishment proposed. It Is a needless, wasteful expense. We cannot stop mother nature and once started it will never stop. The felt obligation to continue forever as long as there is an “expert” willing to stand up and site erosion evidence will be overwhelming.
    Our community is full of retired people that didn’t count on this type of a tax. Now the idea has been raised that we need the beaches for tourism and that is true. It is NOT true is that the beaches will disappear. The beaches will always be there, however the house that sitting on the beach may not. But that is a risk that those homeowners decided to take, is it not? We did not take that risk precisely because of that fact! However, now we are confronted with the idea of being forced to endure the cost of that risk without the benefit of the rewards of that risk, – enjoying living on the beach!
    It is fundamentally unfair for the city to decide to retroactively make us pay for this risk after we decided not to engage in that risk when we purchased a home here. Again we will always have beaches. It is a false narrative to suggest we will not have beaches we all count on.
    Furthermore the idea that other homeowners will either benefit from beach nourishment or will be harmed without beach nourishment, is also completely untrue. Both statements are false. As said previously, the beach will always be there. And ironically but true, the beach width may actually be increased if if a row of houses was washed away as we see in Nagshead, therefore the width of the beaches is not an issue either. Non-beach owners will not be financially affected negatively or positively if a beach house is swept away in the next nor’easter.
    Look, the council cannot force us to pay for a shopping mall (Tax credits/abatements are not cash outlays), and using tax dollars (our retirement savings) to pay for what Mother Nature and only Mother Nature can provide, should be viewed in the same light.

    Tuesday, Jun 9 @ 8:36 pm
  • Trashcan Man

    I suggest a perpetual ban on building anywhere east of NC 12 and let nature takes it’s course as it will. No repair to storm damaged homes on the oceanfront. Spend the money otherwise spent on beach nourishment on buying out ocean front homes and over time they will all be gone. Money better spent and more effective in protecting the beach as it reclaims its natural process of migration.

    Wednesday, Jun 10 @ 1:37 pm
  • Tim

    Who’s coming to a beach that doesn’t exist ? How would you suggest to keep this type of economy running ? Why not look at other way to keep sand on the shores line ? But making statements like let the beach homer owner foot bill most of the Bill. That’s fine does that means only Beach Home owners would have most of the access limiting vacationer not staying on the beach because they payed for more of it ? I’m not sure I understand that logic.
    Its simple math to me how much to keep sand on beach versus tax revenue collected.

    Wednesday, Jun 10 @ 3:51 pm
  • Ghost Crab If you can use this thing it will show you how dynamic nature is on the coastline.

    Wednesday, Jun 10 @ 4:29 pm
  • Mark

    What is at stake is not only oceanfront homes in Southern Shores but the very seaward and dune system that prevents the ocean from creating several new inlets connecting the sound and ocean. Take a look at what several new inlets between the sound and the ocean will do to SS. Furthermore, the municipal service district ( MSD) model the town is proposing apportions the tax burden by proximity of a property to the ocean as well as by assessed value. MSD has the oceanfront owners paying the lion’s share with farther properties paying nothing at all or not much more than dinner for two. One must also consider the impact of tourist opting for rentals elsewhere if Southern Shores becomes ” that town with the skinny beach”. If you’re opposed to tax increases think about what no rental tax income and plummeting real estate values will do to the town budget and consequently your tax bill. Of the four localities that are slated to share the beach nourishment expense, KDH and Kitty Hawk have voted YES with Duck coming up shortly. Remember, no beach nourishment and you lose ocean front homes, real estate tax revenue, rental tax revenue, the dune system that protects the whole town and pretty much all prospects of tourism… that’s not even mentioning not having a beach in a beach town for all SS homeowners! Vote ” YES”!!!!!

    Thursday, Jun 11 @ 12:20 am
  • KDH beach dog

    It’s a maintenance expense. Va Beach has been doing it for forty years. No beach, no tourists, no $. You gotta spend money to make money, so they say.

    Thursday, Jun 11 @ 2:06 pm
  • Bill

    No beach= higher taxes and lower property value. This is not complicated folks. VOTE YES

    Thursday, Jun 11 @ 3:24 pm
  • Lou Briccant

    Mark, yeah that’s the point… those dune systems are not natural, do you understand that? Those are man made and shouldn’t be there… let the ocean do what it’s supposed to do like it always should’ve been and quit building houses 50’ from the ocean.

    Tim, yes the people that decided it’s a good idea to have a house 50’ from the ocean should foot most of the bill… seems like common sense that buying a house that close to the ocean is a bad idea so if they want to keep said house they should be paying for the multi-million dollar fake nourishment that lasts 6 months.

    Thursday, Jun 11 @ 3:37 pm
  • Dave

    Take a look at the demand for beach vacations right now — if the OBX economy is going to thrive, we have to have inviting beaches to draw visitors. 3 to 6 feet from the crossover stairs to the high tide line — like on 13th Ave in Southern Shores — won’t bring the tourism dollars. I for one will gladly accept a tax increase. Even knowing that Mother Nature always has a vote, I see beach nourishment as an investment in future property values and county services.

    Thursday, Jun 11 @ 6:21 pm
  • Rebecca

    Southern shores – please vote YES! This beach has become steep and unpleasant to walk on. The drop off at the dunes are the worst I’ve seen in 20 years of owning my house here. If I was a tourist, I’m not sure I would come back. For a vacation destination our beach should be a top priority. .. especially with the beaches on both sides of southern shores doing beach nourishment.

    Thursday, Jun 11 @ 9:35 pm
  • Ken

    As one of the posters suggested, the people close to the water should more, and as an other poster replied, they will. I own a home that is not on the water, but is several hundred feet from the water. I have no desire to see my neighbor’s homes destroyed so my house can be closer to the water. I am happy to pay the extra taxes burden. Our home is used by our Family and also rental guests who pay occupancy taxes that help pay for county services. They spend money at restaurants & shops in the area. Poor beaches will impact the economy a great deal. Large portions of Northern Dare are flood zones, so if the dunes are breached, money would have to be spent to raise, repair, and protect HW 12 on its way to Corolla. Might as well try to protect the road, and the houses near it, before it becomes an issue like it has in the southern parts of Dare County.

    Friday, Jun 12 @ 12:11 am
  • PAUL

    A thinner and thinner useable/dry beach means less and less tourists spending less and less of their money in Southern Shores. Less revenue/money from tourists spent in Southern Shores means higher and higher taxes FOR ALL SS RESIDENTS. OR A CUT IN SERVICES FOR ALL SS RESIDENTS. A less desirable beach drops property values for all properties in SS not just oceanfront houses, ALL HOUSES EVEN YOURS PERSON WHO COMMENTS AGAINST BEACH NOURISHMENT (if you are even a SS resident). Let’s build a wider beach to retain/attract tourists. Yes it works. Look at Nags Head, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Duck and almost all beach towns. IT WORKS. Your added tax of as little as $100 (per SS notice sent to all SS residents) is well worth that small investment. The highest amount of added tax of $3000 for the most expensive ocean front houses has the high majority of the cost on those who benefit AND RISK THE MOST…. and bring in the most tourist revenues that support those of you benefiting from the revenues by having better Town services (police, fire, schools, etc.) and lower taxes.

    Friday, Jun 12 @ 12:36 am
  • Lemonshirt

    Dare county is blessed with an economic asset that is the envy of every county in northeastern NC. If only the Roanoke and Chowan rivers had such pristine beaches, their adjoining counties would be thriving. …and maybe they wouldnt have to have property tax rates that are 3 times Dare County’s.
    Beach re-nourishment may not make good environmental sense, but it makes perfect financial sense.

    Friday, Jun 12 @ 9:20 am