Ophelia Replenishment Project (2007)

Fact Sheet: Ophelia (2007)

Area of Detail - Indian Beach
2007 Pine Knoll Shores Beach Nourishment Map

3/29/07 – Project Completed - The hopper dredge Liberty Island pumped the final load of sand to Reach V in Pine Knoll Shores early hours this morning culminating in the completion of the Post-Ophelia Replenishment Project (see area of detail map above for Pine Knoll Shores). Turtle trawling measures were implemented earlier this week as a precaution once water temperatures remained above 58 degrees (F). The 2007 Pine Knoll Shores Beach Nourishment Map, also provided above, depicts the geographic limits of both the Ophelia Replenishment and Section 933 Projects within the political subdivision of Pine Knoll Shores. Beach photographs obtained yesterday are provided below – Great Lakes Dredge & Dock, and the engineers for the Project, Coastal Science & Engineering worked extremely hard to ensure the project was completed within the regulatory window and within budget.

Photos (March 28, 2007)

#4 - Iron Steamer

3/23/07 – As of this date, the Ophelia Replenishment Project is approximately 90% complete as a whole in terms of linear distance. The Great Lakes Dredge & Dock hopper dredge, the Dodge Island departed from the site yesterday after competing Reach IV and a small section at the very western tip of Reach V, both located in Pine Knoll Shores. The Liberty Island remains on-site after completing Reach III in Indian Beach earlier this week (see area of detail map above for Indian Beach). The Liberty Island is currently working off a pipe landing at Station 86.7 in Reach V and beachfill activities are progressing eastward form this point (see area of detail map above for Pine Knoll Shores). Beachfill operations should progress west of the pipe landing at Station 86.7 later this upcoming week, and barring any negative weather or mechanical encounters, the project should be completed by the end of the month. Sand quality continues to be very good from both visual and textural perspectives.

3/15/07 – Calm seas and the return of the larger-capacity hopper dredge (the Liberty Island) has yielded a productive week. The Liberty Island is completing Reach III in Indian Beach/Salter Path and should move to new pipe landing at Station 86.7 in Reach V, Pine Knoll Shores sometime early next week and progress east, and then west of this pipe landing (see area of detail maps for Indian Beach and Pine Knoll Shores above). The hopper dredge,Dodge Island has moved to Reach IV in Pine Knoll Shores subsequent to pumping a section in Indian Beach (Reach III) and is currently progressing east beyond the Clamdigger Inn (see area of detail map for Pine Knoll Shores above). The estimated percentage of the project completed to date in terms of linear distance is 77%.

3/8/07 – Both hopper dredges, the Liberty Island and Dodge Island are working in Reach III, located in Indian Beach/Salter Path. The larger capacity hopper dredge, the Liberty Island returned to the site earlier this week after undergoing repair and is currently progressing west from a beach landing positioned at Station 60.9. The Dodge Island is also progressing west from a pipe landing located at Station 68.4 (see the area of detail map above for Indian Beach). Once Reach III is completed, both dredges are tentatively planned to move to Reaches IV and V in Pine Knoll Shores to complete the project. The estimated percentage of the project completed to date in terms of linear distance is 60%.

3/1/07 – Great Lakes Dredge & Dock completed Reach II in Emerald Isle yesterday and has begun demobilizing pipe and heavy equipment from the area. The larger capacity dredge, the Liberty Island has been out of service since last Thursday and is undergoing repair in Charleston, S.C. with a tentative return scheduled for the beginning of next week. The dredge Dodge Island however has continued working throughout the week and helped complete Reach II (see progress map for Emerald Isle above). The Dodge Island is currently working in east Indian Beach off a pipe landing situated near Colony by the Sea (Station 68.4 in progress map above for Indian Beach) and the beach crews have just begun to work west from this point. The Liberty Island and Dodge Island dredges will continue working together in Indian Beach/Salter Path to complete Reach III before heading to Pine Knoll Shores to begin Reaches IV and V. The Liberty Island, when she returns, will work off a beach landing in western Indian Beach (Station 60.9), and progress west from this point, then east. The estimated percentage of the project completed in terms of linear distance is 56%.

2/22/07 – Reach II in Emerald Isle is almost complete and the dredge Liberty Island will subsequently move to western Indian Beach to Reach III (see maps above). The dredge Dodge Island is currently working in east Indian Beach, also in Reach III (five total reaches for project). The estimated percentage of linear distance completed to date for the entire project is roughly 50%.

2/15/07 – Great Lakes Dredge & Dock has completed the western half of Reach 2 located in eastern Emerald Isle and is now progressing towards the east from the pipe landing at 19th Street. Beach nourishment activities today are near 16th Street (see progress map above for Emerald Isle). The dredge Liberty Island has been on-site since early January and has now been accompanied by a second dredge, the Dodge Island that should begin pumping sand later today in Indian Beach. The Dodge Island is working off a second pipe landing positioned at station “68.4” within Reach 3, very close to the border of east Indian Beach and Salter Path (see progress map above for Indian Beach and pictures below). Nourishment activities will progress east of of this pipe landing. It is estimated that the project is roughly 40% complete in terms of distance.

Photos (Feb. 15, 2007)

2/8/07 – Beach nourishment activities continue in Reach 2 located in eastern Emerald Isle and are progressing west from 19th Street towards the Old Emerald Isle Pier access (eastern regional access). See progress map above for a graphic depiction. The next pipe landing will be in Reach 3, Indian Beach near station “68.4”, or near the border of Salter Path (Hoffman Beach) and east Indian Beach. The dredge Dodge Island is scheduled to arrive towards the middle to late portion of February and will accompany the Liberty Island currently on site. The estimated percentage of the project that has been completed to date in terms of distance is roughly 30%.

2/2/07 – Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD) is finishing the contouring (grading) of “Reach 1” in western Emerald Isle and should begin and complete moving the land based-pipe and submerged pipeline within the next few days. Essentially, Reach 1 of 5 is complete. Reach 2 of 5 located in eastern Emerald Isle has been initiated and approximately 400 linear foot of beach has been completed within this reach to date.

1/26/07 – Beach nourishment has advanced east of the 1st pipe landing this week, and activities will be generally near Bogue Inlet Pier this weekend (see progress map above for Emerald Isle). Reach 1 could be completed by the middle portion of next week and the pipe landing for Reach 2 has been installed at Station 47.7 near 20th Street in Emerald Isle, which accordingly will begin immediately after Reach 1 is complete.

1/22/07 – Great Lakes has completed approximately one half of the first reach of the Ophelia Replenishment Project, and should begin progressing east of the first pipe landing later today (“flipping the pipe”). The pipe landing that helps the dredge pump sand to the beach is positioned at Station “15.3” near the new Sea Oats Subdivision. The beach fill has been placed west of this point to Conch Ct. and will now progress east to Lee Drive after refueling and other activities have taken place (see progress map above for Emerald Isle and photos below). Almost all of the pipe has been moved from the nourished section and is generally open to public use.

Photos (Jan. 20 & 21, 2007)

1/15/07 – The Ophelia Replenishment Project has progressed nicely the first several days of work, encompassing over 2,500 linear foot of beach (see progress map above for Emerald Isle). A single round trip cycle takes 5 – 6 hours, which includes; (a) dredging the material from the ODMDS, (b) hauling the sand 19 miles to the pump-out site, (c) pumping the sand to the beach (emptying the hopper), and (d) sailing 19 miles back to the ODMDS. The dredge Liberty Island is currently working in Reach I, which is the furthest reach from the ODMDS and no unforeseen problems have been encountered with the borrow site (ODMDS) or along the beach. The sand quality is excellent (visual observation) as the photos below indicate, which makes intuitive sense as we are essentially using “recycled sand” originally dredged from Beaufort Inlet and stored in the ODMDS. Note: The "CRAB" photographed below is a mobile, tripod hydrographic survey platform owned and operated by Great Lakes Dredge & Dock.

Photos (Jan. 12 & 15, 2007)

1/10/07 – Project Start - Mobilization essentially complete and project initiated. At approximately 16:30 today, the Liberty Island pumped her and the project's first load of sand to the beach, at Station 15.3, located near the new Sea Oats subdivision in Emerald Isle (see photos below and progress map above).

Photos (Jan. 10, 2007)


1/8/07 – Great Lakes Dredge & Dock has begun to mobilize for the project. Shore pipe arrived last week and the first "subline" has been installed at Station "15.3" in Emerald Isle (see map above). The subline extends from the water to the beach and will couple with the dredge as each load of sand is delivered to the beach (see photos below). The dredge Liberty Island could arrive this week with pumping beginning shortly thereafter.

Photos (Jan. 3 & 6, 2007)

Staged Pipe #2

12/21/06 – Great Lakes Dredge & Dock should begin mobilizing land- and water-based pipe, heavy equipment, personnel, etc. next week and although the schedule is tentative, dredging/pumping could begin the second week of January.

for The Post-Ophelia Sand Replenishment Project

The Post-Ophelia Sand Replenishment Project will utilize a maximum of 1,107,560 cubic yards (cy) of sand obtained from the Offshore Dredged Material Disposal Site (ODMDS) associated with Morehead City Federal Navigation Project. Pine Knoll Shores (PKS), Indian Beach (IB), and Emerald Isle (EI) will receive 239,796 cy, 298,604 cy, and 569,160 cy, respectively along 10.4 miles of shorelines in five discrete reaches depicted in the Project Construction map above. As a mental picture, a conventional dump truck holds roughly 15 cubic yards of dry sand. The project is scheduled to be constructed between the January 1 to March 31, 2007 construction window established to limit impacts to biological resources and the dredging contract has been awarded to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock. The ocean-certified, self-contained hopper dredges Liberty IslandDodge Island, and possibly Sugar Island will be employed for the project. Great Lakes will utilize the Iron Steamer Beach Regional Access (PKS), Indian Beach 4-WD Ramp, and the Eastern Regional Access in Emerald Isle as their main equipment staging facilities and a points of beach access for heavy equipment.

Hopper dredges utilize dragheads affixed to trailing-arm suction pipes mounted on both sides of the vessel (port and starboard). The dragheads loosen the sand on the bottom off the seafloor and deliver the material to the vessel’s “belly” via the suction arms. Subsequent to completing a “cut” and filling the hopper, the dredge will travel and discharge (pump) sand to a buoyed pipeline located offshore that extends to the pre-construction dry beach. A secondary “T-valve” discharge pipe is used to transport material in one direction (east or west), then the other along the beach to complete ~1-2 mile sections. The buoyed pipeline and T-valve assembly is subsequently transited down the beach until the nourishment reaches have been filled. Dredged sand will be bulldozed into general construction specifications for subsequent grading into final contours, tilled, and opened for recreational use. The dredges Liberty Island has a maximum capacity of 5,540 cy, Dodge Island 3,558 cy, and Padre Island 3,581 cy under optimal conditions.

Project engineers use “stations” positioned along the beach to monitor construction progress and to verify in-place volumes of sand placed on the beach by dredging contractors. The progress maps above provide detailed views of the Post-Ophelia Sand Replenishment Project reaches to be completed in winter of 2007 with the location/identification of the station numbers and the location of the buoyed pipeline. The shaded areas in red represent the completed portions of the project and will be updated on a weekly basis throughout the construction.

The station numbers included in the progress map conveniently correspond to thousands of linear feet along the beach. For instance, the distance between station “15” and “20” on the Emerald Isle Area of Detail graphic above is approximately 5,000 feet. If you visit the beaches of Bogue Banks this winter, you may see wood or metal stakes at he base of the dunes that will identify these station numbers as “150+00”, “200+00”, etc.


The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) Public Assistance Program and the N.C. Division of Emergency Management will reimburse communities for the replacement of sand lost during a Federally-declared disaster event provided an original beach nourishment project was predominantly non-Federally funded, and project sponsors have developed and adhered to a beach maintenance and monitoring program. This general formula was applied to hurricane Ophelia that impacted Carteret County in September 2005, particular the 14th of that month, and as explained in more detail below, FEMA has approved a reimbursement package to replace the 1,107,560 cubic yards (cy) of sand lost during the Ophelia storm event across Pine Knoll Shores (PKS), Indian Beach (IB), and Emerald Isle (EI) - 239,796 cy, 298,604 cy, and 569,160 cy, respectively. As a mental picture, a conventional dump truck holds roughly 15 cubic yards of dry sand. The Ophelia Sand Replenishment Project is scheduled to be constructed between the January 1 to March 31, 2007 construction window established to limit impacts to biological resources.

Each of the communities that participated in the Bogue Banks Beach Restoration Project, including EI, IB, and PKS, has a FEMA monitoring and maintenance plan in place and the County Beach Commission’s beach monitoring program provides repetitive surveys intended to track coastal changes, trace the fate of beachfills, and create a “pre-storm” benchmark that can be utilized to document the losses attributed to individual or a collection of storms. As a quick reminder, the Bogue Banks Beach Restoration Project was a predominantly locally-funded beach nourishment effort completed in three distinct phases; Phase I in 2001-02 along the shorelines of PKS and IB, Phase II in 2003 along eastern EI, and Phase III in 2005 along western EI that also entailed the realignment of Bogue Inlet.

In 2005, a post-Ophelia beach survey was conducted days after the Hurricane departed Bogue Banks and quantified the beach losses attributed to Ophelia, satisfying FEMA’s requirements to apply for reimbursement and yielding the cumulative 1,107,560 cy figure mentioned above. 

The geographical extent and basic geometry of the Ophelia Sand Replenishment Project is included in the accompanying maps.

Project Planning & Implementation

The Bogue Banks Beach Restoration Project was originally subdivided into 6 planning reaches and the nourishment zones scheduled for the upcoming FEMA Project are positioned to correlate to the exact volume of sand lost in each particular reach. In other words, if reach 1 and 2 in EI lost 134,965 cy and 309,395 cy during Ophelia, then reach 1 and 2 will receive 134,965 cy and 309,395 cy, respectively in the planned FEMA Replenishment Project. In general, the Replenishment Project design targeted the erosion “hotspot” in each of the planning reaches, and extended the cubic yardage east and west from the center of the hotspot at a fill rate of roughly 20 cy per linear foot (in the shore parallel direction). Twenty cy per linear foot was utilized as the minimum fill template based upon construction limitations associated with capturing and progressing the pumped sand down the beach utilizing conventional diking and bulldozing (grading) methods employed by the dredging industry. Some of the fill zones overlapped the planning reaches resulting in a total of five discrete nourishment reaches developed for the FEMA Sand Replenishment Project.

The borrow source for this nourishment effort is the Offshore Dredged Material Disposal Site (ODMDS) associated with Morehead City Federal Navigation Project. This dump site is essentially a repository for dredged material historically extracted from the Outer Harbor reach of the navigation channel and based upon experiences with a 2004 Section 933 Project that utilized channel material for beach nourishment and a 2004 EI FEMA Project that actually utilized the ODMDS, we expect the sand quality to be excellent. This also makes intuitive sense, because for the most part, the shoal material that enters the navigation channel at Beaufort Inlet is sand that has traveled from adjacent beaches. Construction, or deepening material that resides in the ODMDS should be avoided. To this effect, the firm of Coastal Science & Engineering, who has been retained by the Bogue Banks communities as the engineering consultant for the FEMA Project, has performed additional sediment sampling and analyses in the ODMDS to hone the areas of beach quality sand, which basically corresponds to the northeast corner of the ODMDS. 

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock has been awarded the dredging contract and EI is scheduled to be nourished first, followed by IB, and PKS last. This sequence was developed based upon the construction window instituted for the project and the fact that PKS will very likely receive sand from a second Section 933 Project also scheduled for this winter/spring of 2007. Thus by working “west to east” during the FEMA Replenishment Project, we should be able to ensure each Bogue Banks community receives sand this upcoming winter/spring.