Rep. Murphy working to secure funds for Rodanthe beach nourishment study

By on July 27, 2023

Collapsed homes in Rodanthe have given the issue of beach nourishment more urgency. (File Photo, credit Cape Hatteras National Seashore)

In the wake of the Dare County Commissioners’ July 17 vote to approve up to $1.5 million to help fund a beach nourishment feasibility study in Rodanthe, U.S. Congressman Greg Murphy said today that he is working acquire the remaining federal money needed to undertake that study.

At their meeting on July 17, the commissioners agreed to pay half—up to $1.5 million—of the funds required for the study, which is a necessary precursor to any beach nourishment project. They did so with the understanding, according to County Manager Bobby Outten, that the study would be conducted “in stages so that if at any given stage, it appears the project is not feasible, then they would not move to the next stage.” Outten explained that the actual beach nourishment project, estimated to cost somewhere around $40 million, would have to funded by the federal government.

In a statement issued on July 27, Murphy, who represents North Carolina’s Third Congressional District, said, “I am delighted to work with Dare County to provide the funding necessary to advance beach nourishment for Rodanthe…I have closely monitored the conditions there and am supportive of this project. Now that Dare County has notified the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers it will engage in necessary cost sharing, I am working to secure the federal share of funding for the feasibility study.”

In response, Dare County Commissioner Chair Bob Woodard released a statement thanking Murphy and adding that “Our hope is that the feasibility study will move forward in a timely manner and lead to a federally funded beach nourishment project to protect this fragile area of coastline.”   

The issue of beach nourishment in Rodanthe has taken on increasing urgency in recent years as the ocean moves closer to shoreline properties, leading to the collapse of some homes there.

Meeting with reporters earlier this year, Superintendent of the National Park Service’s Outer Banks Group Dave Hallac characterized this as “one of the most significant problems that I think we’ve dealt with in a long time.”

However likely the chances of a beach nourishment project being done in Rodanthe, the prospects appear to have at least improved somewhat since Outten told a jam-packed community meeting back in January that there wasn’t enough money on hand to fund such a project at that time.

SEE ALSO: Dare Board approves funds for Rodanthe beach nourishment feasibility study—with a condition


  • Greg

    This interesting as Our Congressman, Dr Murphy voted against federal infrastructure spending. We have a great deal of infrastructure here. As a Surfer since 1967 I can say that Rodanthe is known for its strong currents. The sand that was out there a few years ago quickly disappeared. Rodanthe is known also for the highest wave hights here. It will be a challenge have any kind of lasting beach nourishment there. Houses in the wash increase erosion. There should be funds to buy out or move the homes within 150 yards of the ocean.

    Thursday, Jul 27 @ 2:42 pm
  • Daniel Kerlakian

    Thank you Congressman Murphy and Chairman Woodard! Although still far from a project happening this gives us all some hope that Rodanthe will be treated the same as every other vulnerable coastal community in the OBX that has received nourishment.

    Thursday, Jul 27 @ 3:27 pm
  • Bill

    That’s a bad place to put sand. It won’t stay there very long. A couple of good Nor’easters or a hurricane and it’ll be gone. Back off from the Ocean. She doesn’t want people there..

    Friday, Jul 28 @ 8:40 am
  • Surf123

    We can thank the government for letting the rock jetty at Oregon Inlet be installed.

    The government created this mess when the CCC installed dunes to stop water from causing occasional flooding. This halted the flow of sand to the sound preventing the island from migrating west. Next move was to build the rock wall to control Oregon Inlet’s southern border which restricts north/south sand flow. Now we want the government continue meddling by pumping in sand. The phrase “we are the government and we are here to help” applies to this debacle. We can expand with “pick winners in terms of the houses that remain oceanfront versus letting them fall to the phrase”.

    Saturday, Jul 29 @ 7:29 pm