Last summer, a few towns on the Outer Banks took on a serious project: beach nourishment. Beach nourishment is the process of extracting sand from offshore ‘borrow’ sites and transporting them via a dredge to be pumped along the shoreline to expand the beach. The town of Duck nourished 1.7 miles of coast north of the Army Corps of Engineering Research Pier, and the project was wrapped up at the end of June, 2018.
The maintenance of this new beach is an important component of the project. There has already been some equilibration, or dissipation, of the beach, which is an expected element of any beach nourishment plan. To aid in the continued protection of the beach and the dune, volunteers in Duck have helped to plant beach grasses, which help anchor the dune and limit damage cause by wind and shifting sands.
On Friday, December 29th, a group of 29 volunteers showed up to help stabilize another beach access in North Duck. In one hour, 5,000 grasses were planted at the Snow Geese South access, and volunteers continued to help an adjacent homeowner plant an additional 2,500 plants. Even though the temperatures were a breezy 36 degrees, the volunteers worked quickly and were able to accomplish this task, completing 260 linear feet about 12 feet deep.
To date, 37,750 plants have been planted by volunteers, about 1800 linear feet. If you want to get involved and help, email Sandy at the Town of Duck –for upcoming volunteer dates.