Beach Preservation Plan


Carteret County’s Beach Preservation Philosophy hinges upon sand management principles aimed to keep sand within the beach and inlet system. This overall premise has been coupled in the past with a host of beach fill, beneficial use of dredged material, and inlet management projects that comprised a set of short-range efforts that were aimed to provide adequate protection until the more comprehensive Bogue Banks Beach Master Nourishment Plan or the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Shore Protection Project can be implemented. 


View Summary Map (1977 - 2019): Nourishment Chronology & Geographic Extents
View Summary Table (2001 - 2020): Nourishment Cost Summary

 2010 - 11
 2004 - 05
 2005 (Bogue Inlet Realignment & Western Emerald Isle)
 2003 (East/Central Emerald Isle)
 2001 - 02 (Pine Knoll Shores & Indian Beach)
2021 - Florence (Phase III) 
2020 - Florence (Phase II)
 2019 - Florence (Phase I)
2013 - Irene 
2007 - Ophelia 
2004 - Isabel 
 BOGUE INLET AIWW CROSSING (2006, 2009-10, 2014)  Recurring
AIWW MAINTENANCE  - "Tangent B"  (2008)  Recurring


Key Document: Presentation to Bogue Banks Municipalities Summarizing Engineering Report

The Bogue Banks Beach Master Nourishment Plan (Master Plan) was formally initiated in 2010 when the County retained Moffatt & Nichol to develop a comprehensive, multidecadal nourishment program using objective parameters to gauge beach health and trigger future nourishment events for the entire 25-mile long island of Bogue Banks.  Consistent with the development of a regional plan, the County is concomitantly pursuing a programmatic environmental document to facilitate the Master Plan.  Ideally, nourishment activities performed in accordance with those specified in the Master Plan will be permitted through a much more streamlined process than conducting projects on a “one-time per one-time basis” with no attachment to a comprehensive plan or coordination of the environmental protection of coastal resources.  The environmental firm of Dial & Cordy is serving as a third party contractor to the Corps of Engineers regulatory branch, which is the Federal agency ultimately responsible for developing the Environmental Impact Statement in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA).  The anticipated completion date for the Master Plan effort (engineering report, environmental document, and final permit decision) is mid 2015.

The Master Plan will evaluate present-day beach conditions, review and reassess the effectiveness of our beach nourishment projects constructed the past decade (Tier II projects), and develops a new nourishment plan based on volumetric/beach elevation thresholds for Pine Knoll Shores, Indian Beach/Salter Path, and Emerald Isle.  We’re assuming Atlantic Beach’s and Ft. Macon’s nourishment needs will be met by utilizing dredged material emanating from the Morehead City Harbor Federal Navigation Project.  However, Atlantic Beach is included in the overall effort as a contingency wing of the Master Plan and in the spirit of developing a regional nourishment plan.  If Federal operation and maintenance funding for the Morehead City Harbor dissipates in the future, then the needs for Atlantic Beach will even be more pressing and again warrant participation in regional planning.  The Master Plan will also outline an idealized sequence of nourishment events and sources of sand; however, the temporal and spatial extent of nourishment will be triggered by need, and will not be anchored to a “hard” timeline.  The Environmental Impact Statement will address short-term, long-term, and cumulative impacts, and offsetting measures that would be adhered to by the applicant (County).  From other practical standpoints, it is also anticipated the Master Plan will satisfy; (1) FEMA requirements to remain eligible for reimbursing the cost of replacing sand lost during a Federally-declared disaster, and (2) serve as municipalities’ 30-year nourishment program, which will help communities retain static vegetation line exceptions that have been approved by the State of North Carolina. 


Project Summary Place Mat:
 Feasibility Report & Integrated Environmental Impact Statement
Chief's Report: August 7, 2014 and December 23, 2014 (FINAL)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project  is a Civil Works project, which is designed and partially funded by the Corps. It is often referred to as the “50-year project” because the nourishment effort includes initial construction and subsequent periodic maintenance for 50 years.  The Corps undertakes large-scale, complex water and related land resources problems in response to directives (often called authorizations) from Congress, and there  are six major steps the Corps is taking to construct and maintain the project (beach).

(1) Problem Perception - Local citizens or local government perceive or experience a water resources problem, such as shore erosion, that is beyond the ability of local government to remedy.
(2) Request for Federal Action - Local government officials contact Congressman or Senator requesting a study authorization.
(3) Study Program and Report Preparation - In addition to authorizing the study, Congress must also appropriate funds for the study. This is often included in the President's Budget. Once funded, the USACE conducts a feasibility study using a two-phased planning process.
(a) Reconnaissance Phase (12 months) - This initial phase determines whether planning should continue into the feasibility phase, the potential of the County's interest and support for the project, and to estimate time and cost for completing the feasibility phase. This phase is 100% Federally funded but the funds must be appropriated by Congress. The reconnaissance phase for the County was completed in 2000.
(b) Feasibility Phase (24 - 48 months) - In this phase, alternative options are developed and evaluated in order to determine the most logical approach for a 50-year beach restoration program. The final plan will be recommended to Congress for authorization. The funding for feasibility investigations is a 50/50 Federal/non-Federal cost share scheme with up to one-half of the non-Federal share in the form of in-kind services. The non-Federal portion is cost- hared between the state and County. A Feasibility Cost-Sharing Agreement that details the responsibilities of both parties must be signed. The feasibility phase for Bogue Banks was initiated in February 2001 and is scheduled for completion in September 2006.
(4) Report Review and Approval - The final feasibility study is submitted to USACE headquarters in Washington for review of internal polices, and once approved, detailed design and construction specifications can be formulated. The latter phase is commonly referred to as the Preconstruction, Engineering, and Design (PED) phase. The PED phase normally takes 24 to 36 months to complete and is scheduled to be initiated in 2006-07 at a 75/25, Federal/non-Federal cost share.
(5) Congressional Authorization - Congress must authorize the project in a Water Resources Development Act. The Assistant Secretary of the Army Civil Works transmits the report to Congress subsequent to a successful review by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget.
(6) Project Implementation - Congress authorizes the Bogue Banks Shore Protection Project and a Project Cooperation Agreement is signed that describes the responsibilities of the Federal government and County. The initial construction phase is anticipated to take 24 months to complete and is cost shared at a 65/35, Federal/non-Federal ratio. Periodic re-nourishment that is conducted throughout the 50-year duration of the project is cost shared at a 50/50 ratio.

A study commissioned by the U.S. Office of Management and Budget concluded that USACE Shore Protection Projects have performed generally as designed. Average re-nourishment volumes have been within 5% of predicted volumes and actual costs have been 1% less than predicted costs for the initial beach restoration construction and 10% less than predicted costs for periodic re-nourishment!

However our Feasibility Agreement was signed in 2001 and the study was stipulated to cost ~$3.3 million total and be completed in four years.   Additionally, the Federal government has provided almost no funding for beach nourishment construction/maintenance activities across the Country the past several years. Obviously the prospects for this effort are not looking favorable to construct and maintain project but completing the Feasibility Study will provide some permit elements that could be beneficial for non-federal projects.  

The following table presents the yearly proposed and actual funding ratio for the Feasibility Phase of the project.

View Table: Cumulative Funding Summary

Morehead City Harbor Sand Management & Historical Findings

Perhaps the most critical shore preservation/protection issue for Bogue Banks is the current dredged material disposal practices employed at the Morehead City Harbor Federal Navigation Project.  Since 1933, over 50 million cubic yards (mcy) of sediment have been dredged from the outer harbor and disposed of 1 to 2.5 miles offshore under the confines of the Corps least-cost dredge disposal policy. Until recently, approximately one million cubic yards of sediment is displaced offshore annually.  This one year total is the equivalent of almost 67,000 dump trucks of sand. The consequences of poor dredged material handling have adversely impacted adjacent coastal environments by essentially depriving the natural sediment supply, thereby affecting the ability for alongshore transport processes to feed adjacent beaches.

In 1994, a Corps Section 111 Feasibility Report was requested by Pine Knoll Shores to determine if damages to the beach can be directly attributable to the Federal Navigation Project. Unfortunately in 2001 and despite body of evidence contained in the report demonstrating impacts to the ebb tide delta and adjacent shorefaces, the Corps determined that the "…shoreline change rates for the Town of Pine Knoll Shores were basically the same for the period with the navigation project as for the period prior to the navigation project". Therefore mitigation by the Corps was not warranted. Consequently, the Beach Commission retained Olsen Associates from Jacksonville, Florida in 2004 to prepare a comprehensive report to critique the Corps Section 111 Report, delineate sand management issues, and prepare a series of recommendations. The report was completed in 2006 (see below) and continues to be one of the foundations of the Beach Commission's shore protection efforts.  The Corps is currently developing a Dredged Material Management Plan to address long term dredging and disposal issues at the harbor that encapsulates a twenty year time horizon.  This report is due October 2011, and is part of a legal settlement the Corps and Carteret County agreed to in December 2008.

 Table of Contents
Abstract & Executive Summary
Study Authorization & Purpose
Inlet Dredging & Disposal
Inlet Morphology
Ocean Tides & Storm
Wave Energy & Littoral Transport Patterns
Beach Profile & Shoreline Charges
Inlet Sediment Budget & Littoral Impacts
Comparison of Findings with Corps' Studies
Summary & Conclusions
Recommendations for Sand Management Practices at Morehead City Harbor Project