By Outer Banks Voice on February 4, 2021
A virtual presentation and public meeting to discuss the proposed beach nourishment project in Avon will be held virtually by Dare County at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 24, 2021. The meeting will provide Avon property owners with an opportunity to share their thoughts about the project before a final decision to move forward is made by county officials.
In recent years, the rate of erosion along the beaches in Avon has accelerated dramatically, and most of the sand dunes have been washed away, allowing the ocean to frequently wash over and flood N.C. Highway 12. This occurs not only in named storms but also in common nor’easters and other coastal storms.
The overwash has impeded, and at times prevented, first responders from responding to emergencies, Dare County sanitation workers from collecting trash and the citizens of Avon from performing their routine daily tasks.
In addition to safety issues, overwash has caused flood damage to homes and businesses, and it has also negatively impacted the tourism-driven economy of Hatteras Island—particularly when portions of N.C. Highway 12 are forced to close due to flooding.
In an effort to combat these negative effects of beach erosion, overwash and flooding, Dare County has proposed a beach nourishment project for Avon that, if approved, will likely take place in 2022.
The proposed project will place over 1 million cubic yards of sand along the beaches of Avon from about 3,000 feet north of the Avon Pier at Due East Road to Askins Creek North Drive near the southern boundary of Avon—approximately 2.2 miles of oceanfront.
As proposed, funding for the beach nourishment project will come from Dare County’s Beach Nourishment Fund and Avon property owners, with each contributing approximately 50 percent of the costs. This funding is similar to that used by the local towns for their beach nourishment projects.
To generate the necessary revenue, Dare County proposes to tax the properties east of Highway 12 from Due East Road to the southern boundary of Avon at a rate of 40 cents per $100 dollars of value (this is the area receiving the greatest benefit from the project) and to tax all remaining parcels in Avon at a rate of 10 cents per $100 dollars in value.
For example, for a parcel valued at $500,000 the 40 cents tax would be $2,000 per year. For a parcel valued at $500,000 the 10 cents tax would be $500 per year.
If the Avon beach nourishment project is approved, it will be bid in conjunction with the beach nourishment projects planned in Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, Kill Devil Hills, Nags Head and Buxton, which are all scheduled for construction in 2022.
No final decision has been made. A decision will not be made until after a public meeting is held to give property owners the opportunity to share their input. This public meeting has been set for February 24 at 6 p.m. It will be a virtual meeting and will be available for viewing online at www.YouTube.com/DareCounty. If you are unable to watch it live, the video will also be available for viewing following the meeting.
Those who would like to submit comments or questions about the project can email them to DareCountyPR@DareNC.com prior to February 24. Please write “Avon Beach Nourishment” in the subject line of your email.
If you would like to participate in the public meeting on February 24, you will need to register online at www.DareNC.com/AvonBN. After registering online, you will receive a response that confirms your registration and provides information about how to access the virtual meeting. In addition, the webpage provides answers to frequently asked questions about the proposed beach nourishment project.
This is normal when dune lines are built, major erosion. Overwash is necessary for a healthy island and it’s ecosystems.
The flooding, while inconvenient, is a result of the dune lines which are why the island is eroding. Under natural conditions the ocean crosses the island and pushes sand into the sound. This maintains the width of the island while it retreats.
Flooding is the reality of living near any body of water, especially tidal ones. I’ll equate trying to “fix this” as the person who is buying a natural product like a granite countertop, but wants the surface color to be the same across the entire slab. This is impossible and unrealistic, just like thinking we can control the shoreline. The other option is to pay higher taxes to put in sand that will wash away and have to be replaced.
My great hope was that we could not be roped into the madness that is beach nourishment. since the beach is part of the national park and not controlled by the county. I expect an environmental group to put the kibosh on this since these are not private lands.
I went to the PDF that the commissioners used for assessment of the last project. The aerial photos presented in the PDF report do not accurately portray what has subsequently occurred in the 2017-18 Buxton beach dredging project. First the photos are not from the same height and second the 2018 photo is only about 6 weeks after the project finished. Water still washes over the road at the exact same place. Nothing has changed the sand that was put there didn’t last as long as it took to put it there. Photos showing just how fast the dredged sand washed away should be considered in any new nourishment projects.