Post-Florence Renourishment Project - Phase II (2020)

(please scroll further down for an interpretation guide and general project overview) 


Coastal Transplants, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock’s subcontractor, put the last plant into the sand yesterday at roughly 4 pm signifying the conclusion of the Phase II Post-Florence Renourishment Project.   That’s roughly 9.5 linear miles of dune crest and dune slope planted with predominantly sea oats interspersed with bitter panicum.

Sand Fencing Note to Property Owners – Please check with your Local Permit Officer BEFORE erecting any sand fencing.  The State has rules, policies, and guidelines for “new dunes” like ours that you need to be aware of.   Please see this recent Post Project Dune Guidance for Sand Fencing & Accessways MEMO to these effects. 

7/22/2020 - DUNE PLANTING UPDATE (could be complete by the end of the week).

We’re in the home stretch.   Of course mechanical planting of the dune crest has been completed for some time, and the hand crew has been busy planting the dune slope in Atlantic Beach (complete), West Emerald Isle (complete), Salter Path (complete), and Pine Knoll Shores.  Coastal Transplants started hand planting in the middle of town (Pine Knoll Shores), then went east to the Atlantic Beach/Pine Knoll Shores town line – this run was completed this past Friday (July 17th).  On Saturday they picked up in the middle of Town and are progressing westward to the end of the Project at the Indian Beach/Pine Knoll Shores border.   With a little luck, they should be all complete by this Sunday, July 26th.   The plants on the dune crest that were installed over a month ago are looking really good, healthy.

7/8/2020 - DUNE PLANTING UPDATE (back to work after the holiday but rain has other plans).

A quiet week of dune planting this past 7 days.  The hand planting crew started their July 4th holiday last Thursday (July 2nd) and returned yesterday (July 7th) - this was predicated upon logistical issues associated with the increased volume of beach visitation for the July 4th weekend, and the transportation and use of plants over the weekend from the greenhouse located in Bolivia, N.C.  The hand planting crew got about 1/2 day of work in yesterday before the rain set in and today is a similar "wash-out" type of day.  We will get back to planting the dune slope in Pine Knoll Shores (our last reach) once this tropical system clears the area - likely Friday.  Roughly 30% of the dune slope has been planted in Pine Knoll Shores (in the middle part of Town).  Mechanical planting of the dune crest (top) for the entire project was completed a little over two weeks ago.   


As a reminder, mechanical planting along the dune crest (top) is completed for the entire project.  Hand planting along the dune slope is complete in Atlantic Beach, Salter Path, and West Emerald Isle.  Pine Knoll Shores is roughly 4.5 miles long and Coastal Transplants completed over a mile's worth of hand planting on the dune slope since they started Pine Knoll Shores this past Thursday (6/25/2020).   The planting took place in the middle portion of Town and will continue after the July 4th weekend towards the east end of Town, and then westward from the middle plantings to complete the reach and therefore the project as a whole. 

DRONE VIDEO from June 30, 2020
PKS Flying West

6/24/2020 - DUNE PLANTING UPDATE (Mechanical Planting Complete Along Entire Project Dune Crest – Hand Planting Along Dune Slope Completed in AB, EI, and SP).

What a great week of planting.  The mechanical planter completed all work along the dune crest (top) this past Monday (6/22) concluding with the Salter Path reach.  In the interim, the hand planting crew completed planting along the dune slope in Emerald Isle on Monday as well, started Salter Path yesterday and should be completing Salter Path later today.  Hand planting will transition to Pine Knoll Shores (the longest reach) likely tomorrow to close out planting activities over the course of the next several weeks. 

Sand Fencing Note to Property Owners – Please check with your Local Permit Officer BEFORE erecting any sand fencing.  The State has rules, policies, and guidelines for “new dunes” like ours that you need to be aware of.

6/17/2020 - DUNE PLANTING UPDATE (8 inches of rain this past week, back to work today).

Planting has been hold since both the mechanical planter and hand-planting crew worked last Thursday (6/11).   We have received over 8 inches of rain since Friday, and playing touch and go in between showers has been nearly impossible.  It takes roughly an hour to mobilize for the day (set all the equipment, link the hoses to the fire hydrants, etc.), and another hour to demobilize for the day.  Hence getting in an hour in between showers (as an example) really involves almost three hours of work, and the risk vs. reward calculus has not been there.  However, we are back to work today.   The mechanical planter (again taking care of the dune crest (flat part of the dune top)) has completed the Emerald Isle Reach and is starting the dune crest in Pine Knoll Shores this afternoon – working east to west across the Town’s oceanfront.  The hand-planting crew is in Emerald Isle now planting the dune slopes and started first thing this morning.  We’re hopeful hand-planting can conclude in Emerald Isle over the course of the next few days and can transition to Pine Knoll Shores.

6/10/2020 - DUNE PLANTING UPDATE (Atlantic Beach complete & mechanical planting almost complete in Emerald Isle).

We’ve had a productive week of planting sea oats and bitter panicum.  As a review and a look ahead;

(A) The Atlantic Beach reach that generally extends from the Circle to the Doubletree Pier was completed on Monday (6/8) – both in terms of mechanical planting along the dune crest, and hand planting along the slope.

(B) Mechanical planting begun last week in Emerald Isle – the dune crest extending from the Doe Drive 4WD Ramp westward to the end of the reach was completed over the past weekend (see PHOTO).   Doe Drive is close to the very middle of the reach.  Mechanical planting of the dune crest eastward of the Doe Drive 4WD Ramp to the end of the beachfill begun this morning and it is anticipated to be completed by tomorrow afternoon.  

(C) Once mechanical planting is completed in Emerald Isle (again possibly tomorrow), the operations will be transited to Pine Knoll Shores ("reach 9") where mechanical planting will progress east to west across the entire Town shoreline.

(D) Hand planting started along the dune slope in Emerald Isle yesterday and akin to the mechanical planting sequencing, we started at the Doe Drive 4WD Access and are progressing westward along the slope.   

6/3/2020 - DUNE PLANTING UPDATE (mechanical planting to start in Emerald Isle tomorrow).  Apologies for the absence of any updates lately but we’ve been waiting until the rain subsides to provide a proper dune planting update with respect to Coastal Transplants’ progress.  Here locally, it rained the entire week leading into the Memorial Day weekend, then it was logistically impossible to be on the beach during the holiday weekend, and to cap it off – it rained most of last week.  That’s basically two full weeks off the books, but we got back to work in earnest on Monday (6/1/2020).  Thus to summarize where we are geographically speaking and regarding future sequencing;  

(A) Mechanical planting on top of the dune (dune crest) in Atlantic Beach is complete (map), and we’re starting Emerald Isle with the mechanical planter tomorrow (6/4/2020).    

(B) In general, the mechanical planting in Emerald Isle will start at the Doe Drive 4WD Ramp, proceed west to the end of the beach fill; then proceed east from Doe Drive to complete the reach.   See map – Doe Drive is very close to Sea Dunes Drive depicted the map.

(C) Hand planting on the dune slope is active near Ocean Sands in Atlantic Beach as they continue proceeding west to the DoubleTree.   They will then go to Emerald Isle and follow the mechanical planter in the same sequence mentioned immediately above.

(D) After Emerald Isle is complete, dune planting will progress to Salter path, then Pine Knoll Shores.  The following photo is from 5th Street in Emerald Isle – less than one year after sea oats were planted in the Phase I zone. 

Less than One Year After Planting
 5th Street, Emerald Isle

5/14/2020 - DUNE PLANTING UPDATE.  Dune planting started in earnest on Tuesday (5/12/2020) in Atlantic Beach and our subcontractor (Coastal Transplants) have made some very, very impressive progress already.  Coastal Transplants has a lot more equipment and personnel this year on site and the productivity reflects this accordingly.  Below are photos from today including a photo of sea oats AND bitter panicum that were cultivated specifically for this project (see Dune Book, pages 12-14).  

Photos from May 14, 2020
Sea Oats (r) & Bitter Panicum (l)

SCHEDULE/SEQUENCING.  Because of the more high volume foot traffic we expect for Emerald Isle in general and especially at the Town’s Western Regional Access when opened, the planting subcontractor is going to mobilize to Emerald Isle as soon as Atlantic Beach is completed, then go to Salter Path, and then Pine Knoll Shores (9.5 miles total).  We would have started planting in Emerald Isle but we need to wait a few weeks for the salt to leach out of the sand before planting.   Forecasting a schedule on a project like this is difficult – perhaps akin to building a house and wanting to know the exact day the electrician will be there rough wiring – almost impossible to predict.   However, if pressed and considering the progress Coastal Transplants is making in Atlantic Beach, the Shore Protection Office can envision starting Emerald Isle sometime next week.   

REMEMBER!!!!!  Don’t Install Sand-fencing (yet)!   Why?  See Property Owner Question & Answer Sheet.

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock's hopper dredge, the Ellis Island delivered the last load of sand to West Emerald Isle ("reach 2") at approximately 1:30 pm, on April 29th signifying the conclusion of the beach nourishment phase of the project (See 4/29/2020 PROGRESS MAP).  We will constrain the final numbers soon, but we likely placed in excess of  2 million cubic yards of sand total along the 9.5 miles of project beach in West Atlantic Beach (reach 10), Pine Knoll Shores (reach 9), Salter Path (reach 7), and West Emerald Isle (reach 2).  That's roughly the equivalent of 166,700 dump trucks worth of sand, or enough sand to extend the footprint of a regulation NBA basketball court over 2 miles into the sky.   Great Lakes Dredge & Dock did a great job, and overcame challenges associated with internal and external COVID-19 precautions with 100% professionalism.    

DRONE VIDEOS - 4/27/2020, you tube (courtesy of Greg Flinn) 
VIDEO 2 Line 7 Panoramic

Demobilization Notes - The demobilization process has already started and is in full swing – the Ellis Island will depart this afternoon or tomorrow, and the submerged pipeline near Sea Dunes Drive in West Emerald Isle should be floated and pulled this weekend.  The land-based pipe are being staged on the beach at the “dog-leg” 4WD access in Emerald Isle and will be removed 5 to 6 at a time on large flatbed trailers - all equipment, pipe, etc. must be off the beach on May 7th. 

Endangered/Threatened Species - Another important component of this project was the endangered/threatened species protection measures, particularly trawling and relocation of sea turtles to limit possible encounters with the dredge.  Our Biological Opinion and other authorizations for the project stipulated the implementation of trawling/relocation once the water temperature exceeded 57 degrees Fahrenheit.  However in the abundance of caution, the project sponsors requested trawling begin as soon as the project started.  Throughout the project six loggerheads (photo), four kemps ridleys (photo), and one 1 green sea turtle (photo) were safely trawled and relocated.  6 Atlantic Sturgeon were also trawled/relocated.   Of course there is not a one to one correlation between trawling/relocation and interaction with a dredge(s), but the possibility of lethal or non-lethal take by the Liberty Island or Ellis Island was greatly diminished by doing so.   Yet to this end, two loggerhead and one kemp ridley were lethally taken during the project despite implementing the best avoidance measures possible. 

DUNE PLANTING (starts next week) - A detailed dune planting work scope is included in the dredging contract, which incorporates the planting, fertilization, and initial watering of well over a half million of sea oats on top and mostly down the entire slope of the newly constructed dune.  The planting process includes the use of a light vehicle, mechanical planter apparatus on top of the dune (photo), followed by hand planting on the slope (photo).   Installation of sand fencing before the mechanical planter is employed greatly inhibits the use of the mechanical planter and impedes the overall progress of the planting phase.   Please wait until AFTER the mechanical dune planting phase is completed if you do wish to install sand fencing.  You must follow these sand fencing GUIDELINES and contact your Local Permit Officer beforehand (i.e., your town building inspector or planner).  Please note the planting phase takes a while and can occur weeks or even months after the pumping and grading phase has been completed.

4/27/2020 - LESS THAN 2,000 LINEAR FEET TO GO.  After a 24 hour(ish) period of weather shutdown this past Thursday/Friday, we had a drama free weekend and have less than 2,000 linear feet remaining (see 4/27/2020 PROGRESS MAP).   The finish line is almost in sight and scheduled completion is April 29th. 

4/23/2020 - 3,500 LINEAR FEET TO GO.   
Beach nourishment continues to progress west from the submerged pipeline landing that emerges on the beach near Sea Dunes Drive (a.k.a "Line 7").  The discharge point is currently at Station “89+00”, which is along the beach in the Ocean Oaks subdivision (see 4/23/2020 PROGRESS MAP).  Pipe will be added to the string for the remaining 3,500 linear feet of the reach.   Dredging/pumping operations will likely be suspended for several hours/a day while tonight’s weather passes and we are expecting to be complete on April 29th.    Roughly speaking, we have 15 more loads for the Ellis Island to dredge, haul, and pump.  Photos below from yesterday.

Photos from April 22, 2020
Discharge 1
Sediment Quality  Discharge 2 

Yesterday Great Lakes Dredge & Dock completed pumping sand eastward of the submerged pipeline landing situated near the Sea Dunes subdivision (a.k.a “Line 7”).   See 4/20/2020 PROGRESS MAP.   They have dissembled the pipeline string on the beach, flipped the elbow, and will now begin pumping sand and adding pipe towards the west of the Line 7 landing to complete the West Emerald Isle Reach, and therefore the project as a whole.  Rough seas have caused a stoppage of work, but we will re-start dredging/pumping operations tomorrow.  Again we must be completed by April 30th, predicated mostly upon nesting sea turtle considerations.    

– After this early week’s storm and coincident refueling of the hopper dredge, Ellis Island, we are back to work pumping sand from a submerged pipeline (“Line 7”) that emerges near the Sea Dunes Subdivision.  Nourishment is currently progressing east from this point, and after this morning’s pump-out of a load of sand, we are at Emerald Isle’s Western Regional Access (Station 128+00 – see 4/16/2020 PROGRESS MAP and photos below).   There is roughly 6,500 linear feet remaining for the Western Emerald Isle reach, and therefore the project (total project 49,900 feet!), or approximately 260,000 cubic yards remaining out of the 1,995,000 cubic yard total.  Forecasted completion is April 27th (dredging/pumping must be completed on April 30th).   

Photos at or near the Western Regional Access, Emerald Isle
Pipe String (4/15/20)
Morning Pump Out 2 (4/16/20)  Pipe String 2 (4/15/20) 
Morning Pump Out  3 (4/16/20) Dune and Berm (4/15/20)

4/13/2020 - ELLIS ISLAND REFUELING – 6,800 LINEAR FEET REMAINING (OUT OF 49,900 TOTAL) WHEN WE START BACK TOMORROW.  The dredge Ellis Island (video) went into safe harbor yesterday afternoon to avoid the rough seas that are upon us today and took this opportunity to refuel.   We should start back tomorrow in West Emerald Isle where we have approximately 6,800 linear feet to go.  We should complete our eastern push from “Line 7” on April 16th, flip the elbow and head west on April 17th and perhaps complete the reach and project on or about April 23rd.  See today’s PROGRESS MAP for depiction of the nourishment completed to date in West Emerald Isle and the location of “Line 7”.  Photos below are from Friday, April 10th.

Photos from April 10, 2020
Building the dune in the morning ahead of the fill Dozers keeping up with the Ellis Island 
Ellis Island pumping out at noon Adding pipe during the pump out
 Adding the spreader plate

4/9/2020 - SALTER PATH COMPLETE / WEST EMERALD ISLE UNDERWAY.  Earlier today the dredge Ellis Island delivered the last load of sand to Salter Path (“Reach 7” - see PROGRESS MAP) and has since proceeded to rotate from the borrow source to/from the last remaining reach of the project – West Emerald Isle.  Nourishment will proceed easterly from our 7th temporary submerged pipeline landing of the project located at the Sea Dunes subdivision (a.k.a. – “line 7”)   Roughly speaking it should take a week for sand to be pumped east to Sound of the Sea, then we will “flip the pipe” and begin to head west from line 7 to complete the reach and project – this should take another week (see 4/9/2020 PROGRESS MAP).  Accordingly, April 22nd is our forecasted completion date but that is weather and/or mechanically dependent.  For oceanfront property owners, please don’t forget to review the Project’s Q&A sheet.

4/6/2020 - PINE KNOLL SHORES COMPLETED, SALTER PATH INITIATED, W. EMERALD ISLE TO BEGIN LATER THIS WEEK.  We’re right on schedule – Great Lakes Dredge & Dock and the dredge Ellis Island have been working uninterrupted and completed the Pine Knoll Shores reach (“Reach 9”) on April 3rd (see PROGRESS MAP).   Later in that afternoon, the Salter Path Reach (“Reach 7”) was initiated and nourishment is currently progressing eastward from the submerged pipeline landing in the middle of the reach (a.k.a. “line 6”) – see 4/6/2020 PROGRESS MAP).   We are anticipating to complete the Salter Path reach on April 8th (Wednesday), and will transition to West Emerald Isle (“Reach 2”) later that day (map).  It should take approximately 2 weeks to complete the West Emerald Isle reach, and therefore the project as a whole.   Roughly speaking, the project is 80% complete in terms of both geography (linear feet) and nourishment volume (cubic yards) – see fact sheet.  

Photos from  April  6, 2020
Labeled Pump-Out Photo  Last Year's Dune - This Year's Dune 

4/2/2020 - ALMOST COMPLETE IN PINE KNOLL SHORES - TRANSITION TO SALTER PATH TOMORROW.  The dredge Ellis Island has been working non-stop this week (see photos below) and we’re just about complete with Pine Knoll Shores (Reach 9) – roughly 1,000 feet remaining, which includes a taper section (see 4/2/2020 PROGRESS MAP).  We should fully transition to Salter Path (Reach 7 map) tomorrow.  Sand will be delivered through our 6th temporary submerged pipeline of the project (a.k.a. “Line 6”), where nourishment will progress east; then west from this point.  Note: the remaining portion of Salter Path was nourished last year (map).  And lastly, our final transition to West Emerald Isle (Reach 2 map) is planned for April 8th and will take approximately two weeks to complete – weather & mechanical dependent of course.    

Photos from  April 1, 2020
Ground perspective from the dune crest  Dozers in action 
Dozers in action (zoom) Pumping Out
 Tie in of Phase II (this year) to Phase I (last year)

3/30/2020 - LAST FLIP IN PINE KNOLL SHORES - 3,500 LINEAR FEET TO GO BEFORE SALTER PATH.   Despite a persistent southwest wind generating choppy seas all weekend, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock’s dredge, the Ellis Island powered through and completed pumping sand in the eastward direction from the submerged pipeline landing in Beacon’s Reach (“Line 5”).  SEE 3/30/2020 PROGRESS MAP.  Thus, we’re now pumping sand westward from Line 5 to complete Reach 9 (the Pipe Knoll Shores Reach).  We have 3,500 linear feet remaining before we transition over to Line 6 that serves Salter Path (see Map).  This is anticipated to take place on April 3rd (weather or mechanically dependent).  

3/26/2020 - ELLIS ISLAND CONTINUES WORKING; CLOSE TO THE HOME STRETCH IN PINE KNOLL SHORES.   As mentioned in the March 23rd update, the dredge Liberty Island went into harbor on March 24th for maintenance/repair and will subsequently sail to her next job.  The dredge Ellis Island will remain on-site for the remainder of the project and is presently pumping through the submerged pipeline landing in Beacon’s Reach (“Line 5”).  Nourishment is progressing eastward from the landing towards the completed section of the project (see 3/26/2020 PROGRESS MAP).   We should complete this eastern leg over the weekend and begin heading west from the landing to complete the entire Pine Knoll Shores section of the project (i.e., “Reach 9”).     
         We should begin the Salter Path reach (“Reach 7”) towards the middle portion of next week, and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock is busy today as well setting the submerged pipeline that will service this area – “Line 6” (see Map).
        During the second full week of April, we should begin “Reach 2”, or West Emerald Isle.  The submerged pipeline has already been sunk here as “Line 7”, and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock has begun transporting beach pipe in this direction starting this morning.  They intend to stack the pipes just east of Bogue Inlet Pier on a temporary basis, before transiting the pipes under the Pier, and then continuing westward to Reach 2 (see Map). 

Both dredges, the Liberty Island and Ellis Island have been working in tandem since the Ellis Island arrived this past Thursday (March 19th).   The Liberty Island has been on-site since we started on February 8th and will depart tomorrow morning (March 24th), while the Ellis Island will remain until the project is complete.   The Liberty Island has been tremendously productive and are sorry to see her leave, but are pleased the Ellis Island is here to complete the project.   She is the largest capacity hopper dredge in the United States, and is perfectly suited for the longer distances between the borrow source and the farthest west reaches of the project (namely Salter Path and West Emerald Isle).    
In terms of progress, the Liberty Island and Ellis Island have generally been pumping sand through submerged pipeline landing #4 (“Line 4”) near the Whaler Inn, and have been adding sand towards the west.   Sometimes the dredging cycles coincide and to avoid waiting on each other at Line 4, the Liberty Island has sailed to Line 5 and begun pumping sand back eastward (see 3/23/2020 PROGRESS MAP). 

3/19/2020 - THE ELLIS ISLAND HAS ARRIVED; FLIPPING THE PIPE ON LINE 4 AND WORKING OFF LINE 5.  There’s A LOT of activity in the water and on the beach today.  As scheduled the largest hopper dredge in the U.S., the Ellis Island arrived before daylight this morning, underwent environmental testing (mostly related to sea turtle protection), and started dredging this late morning.  The dredge Liberty Island has been working seamlessly in the interim, and again is scheduled to depart on March 23rd as the Ellis Island remains for the duration of the Project.
     On the land – both dredges are concurrently dredging the sand from the borrow source (see “ODMDS”), and traveling back and forth to pump the slurry of sand and water to Line 4 OR Line 5 (see 3/19/2020 PROGRESS MAP).   Earlier this week, the Liberty Island was utilizing line 4 and pumping east back to the completed section of beach, but we have now “flipped the pipe” and are progressing westward off of Line 4, heading towards the Iron Steamer Regional Access and beyond.   Nourishment will progress east of Line 5 (again see map).
     To this end, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock has three submerged pipeline assemblies on-site.  Two are now “active”, which as described above is Line 4 and 5.  The other is basically “inactive” for now but has been sunk in west Emerald Isle as Line 7 (see map).
   Scheduling wise (mechanical and weather dependent) – the first week of April could see Pine Knoll Shores completed and the Salter Path reach (map) started and nearly complete as well.  The second week in April through the third week of April includes the start and completion of West Emerald Isle (map). 

Photos (March 19, 2020)
Ellis Island with 1st Load 
Waiting at Line 4 for the Ellis Island

3/16/2020 - STARTING ON SUBMERGED PIPELINE LANDING #4 ("LINE 4").   Great Lakes Dredge & Dock successfully completed nourishment operations off of the 3rd submerged pipeline landing location (a.k.a. “Line 3”) on Saturday and transitioned over to “Line 4” situated just east of the Iron Steamer Regional Access.   Nourishment activities will progress east from this point back towards the completed section of the beach; then “flip” to the west (SEE 3/16/2020 PROGRESS MAP).  The dredge Ellis Island is on schedule to start working in tandem with the Liberty Island on Thursday (March 19th).   As mentioned in the most previous update, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (and the Project Sponsors) are taking COVID-19 very seriously and have implemented a spate of precautionary measures for both land- and water-based personnel.  


Progress – We’re continuing to work off “line 3”, working westward (the discharge point/spreader is along the stretch of beach at Dogwood Circle).  Great Lakes Dredge & Dock should be moving to “Line 4” in a day or two, where the dredge Liberty Island will service.  Once on Line 4, nourishment will head east to tie into the completed portion of the project.  (See 3/12/2020 PROGRESS MAP).

Ellis Island – The schedule for the Ellis Island’s arrival (see 3/5/2020 update below) has been bumped to March 18th, and after some testing should start dredging/pumping the next day (March 19th).  Again, both the Ellis Island and Liberty Island will work in tandem until the Liberty Island departs the project on March 23rd while the Ellis Island will remain until the Project is complete.

COVID-19 – We had (and continue to have) discussions concerning COVID-19, and its impact to the Project, especially to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock’s operations, and the well-being of their personnel and all others (sponsors, regulatory community, etc.) associated with the Project.

Photos (March 9, 2020)
Drone Photo 2 - courtesy of PKS Police 
Drone Photo 3 - courtesy of PKS Police

3/9/2020 - PKS ROUGHLY 25% COMPLETE (40% OVERALL).   Over the weekend Great Lakes Dredge & Dock “flipped the pipe” at the 3rd submerged pipeline (subline) landing (SEE 3/9 PROGRESS MAP).  The section from the 3rd subline back east towards Atlantic Beach is completed and we’re now heading west from the 3rd subline – the outfall is currently near Memorial Park, meaning we’re roughly 25% complete in Pine Knoll Shores (PKS) alone, and about 40% overall for the entire 9.5 mile, 2 million cubic yard project.     

3/5/2020 - GET READY FOR THE
ELLIS ISLAND.   The dredge Liberty Island has been the only dredge on site since the project started in earnest on February 8th, and obviously has been tremendously productive delivering approximately 522,000 cubic yards in reach 10 (basically Atlantic Beach) and over 90,000 cubic yards already in Reach 9 (basically Pine Knoll Shores).  That’s the equivalent of roughly 51,000 dump trucks worth of sand in less than a month.   She (the Liberty Island) has been in Port the past day and a half to refuel and take care of some minor, minor repairs but is back in action today.   On March 16th, the dredge Ellis Island is expected to arrive on site to accompany the Liberty Island for a week before the Liberty Island is relieved from the project.  The Ellis Island will remain onsite for the remainder of the project, and is the largest hopper dredge in the United States with a maximum capacity of 14,800 cubic yards – the Liberty Island has a maximum capacity of 6,540 cubic yards as a comparison, which is also considered as a large hopper dredge in its own right.  The week of March 16th is going to be very active in the water and on the beach with both dredges scheduled to pump off the same line.  Please remember the active area of pumping/nourishment is a construction zone and respect all warning signs and flagging to this effect.
     With respect to our progress on the beach, please see the 3/5/2020 UPDATE MAP – we’re continuing to pump off line 3 and heading east to tie back into Atlantic Beach.   More great drone photos from the Pine Knoll Shores Police Department below. 

Photos (March 2, 2020)
Drone Photo 2 - courtesy of PKS Police 
Drone Photo 3 - courtesy of PKS Police

3/2/2020 – REACH 10 COMPLETED.   PUMPING OFF LINE 3 IN PINE KNOLL SHORES.  On Saturday, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock completed “REACH 10”, which entails the area from the Circle westward past the Double Tree in Atlantic Beach and the first 1,400 linear feet of Pine Knoll Shores (see AB Progress Map).  Pumping operations accordingly have transitioned to the submerged pipeline (subline) landing at Station “914+50” east of Memorial Park.  As depicted in today’s PKS Progress Map – nourishment is progressing east of this subline landing back towards the beach fill completed.  Also, the subline that was being utilized in Atlantic Beach (subline 2) has been relocated and landed near the Whaler Inn (Pine Knoll Shores) – “leapfrogging”.  Photos at the DoubleTree Pier this morning (Shore Protection Office) and drone photos obtained by the Pine Knoll Shores Police Department over the weekend.

Photos (March 2, 2020)
DoubleTree Pier Looking by West
Drone Photo 2 - courtesy of PKS Police DoubleTree Pier Looking East

2/27/2020 - WE'RE IN PINE KNOLL SHORES.  This past evening, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock progressed westward under the DoubleTree Pier and entered into Pine Knoll Shores, signifying the conclusion of Atlantic Beach and the beginning of the Pine Knoll Shores beachfill - See 2/27/2020 PROGRESS MAP (currently at the Seahawk Inn).  Nourishment continues to progress westward from a submerged pipeline (subline) landing situated near Smuggler's Cove/Ocean Sands.  However, over this upcoming weekend, pumping operations will transition over to subline landing 3 in Pine Knoll Shores, located east of Memorial Park.  Nourishment will progress east of this point to tie into the section that is being completed (see Pine Knoll Shores update map).  Also this weekend, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock might try to install subline 4 at "Station 830+50", which is just east of the Iron Steamer regional access.  Nifty yet foggy photos below taken yesterday on the DoubleTree Pier.   

Photos from The DoubleTree Pier (February 26, 2020)
Contouring the Beach After a Pump-Out Cycle
Foggy Pump-Out  Pipe Under the Pier 
Foggy Pump-Out #2 Transiting Pipe Under the Pier
 Dozers and Front-end Loader Working Hard After a Pump-Out Cycle

2/20/20 – LEAPFROGGING; PUMPING BACK TOWARDS THE EAST OFF THE 2nd SUBMERGED PIPELINE.   On Tuesday (2/18/20), Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD) finished utilizing their 1st submerged pipeline ("subline") landing and the dredge Liberty Island subsequently started pumping off the 2nd subline landing that is situated near Smugglers Cove, Atlantic Beach – nourishment is progressing east from this point (SEE 2/20/2020 PROGRESS MAP).  The 1st subline configuration was also moved on Tuesday to the 3rd landing position in Pine Knoll Shores (see Map).   Later today/tomorrow, the Liberty Island will stop dredging and go inside the Morehead City Harbor for supplies/servicing, which was purposely scheduled to coincide with the winter storm and rough seas that is forecasted to impact the area during the same time.   This will be the first stoppage since the project started on 2/8/20.  As a rough, in-house estimate; approximately 8,000 linear feet of beach has been completed in less than 12 days, resulting in 280,000 cubic yards of sand placed and contoured on the beach (well over the equivalent of 23,000 dump trucks!).

2/17/2020 – AWESOME PROGRESS, 2nd SUBMERGED PIPELINE SET.  We had great “dredging weather” this past weekend with no mechanical issues, thus enabling; (a) seamless, repeated rotations between the borrow site to dredge and sailing to the beach to pump out, and (b) an opportunity to set the 2nd submerged pipeline (“subline”) that is situated at “Station 992+50” at Smugglers Cove.  Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLLD) has multiple subline assemblies here on site and will continue “leapfrogging” the sublines to the west.   GLLD should be finished progressing west off the 1st subline landing in a day or two and will transition to the 2nd subline landing, pumping sand back eastward (SEE 2/17/2020 PROGRESS MAP).  Some nice examples of dune construction below.

Photos (February 17, 2020) - Dune Construction Before a Pump-Out Cycle
New "Baby" Dune Freshly Contoured
Buried Stairs = dune tie in at +12 Feet Bulldozers Contouring Dune - no poles/stakes; all GPS

2/14/2020 – PIPE FLIPPED AT 1st SUBMERGED PIPELINE LANDING (HEADING WEST NOW).  Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD) completed going east (or past the Circle) yesterday afternoon, and has subsequently “flipped the pipe” at the 1st submerged pipeline landing and are now progressing westward (see 2/14/2020 Progress Map).  GLDD plans to tug and install the 2nd submerged pipeline over the weekend, and pumping operations should start on this 2nd landing sometime next week once they finish the western leg off the 1st landing.  Dredging operations have pretty much been uninterrupted since they first started on Saturday (2/8/2020), and we’re hoping for the same this upcoming week.

2/10/2020 (8:00 am) – NICE PROGRESS.   As expected, we’re experiencing some strong productivity a little over a day and a half into the project (~1,600 linear feet) as the sand is being pumped eastward from the first subline landing (see 2/10/20 update map and photos below).  The second "subline" (again see map) is scheduled to be set later today at Station "992+50". 

Photos (February 10, 2020) - Just After A Pump-Out
Photo 3
Photo 2 Photo 4

2/8/2020 – PROJECT START!   The seas have subsided subsequent to the storm we experienced over the course of the past couple of days, and the dredge Liberty Island departed from the Morehead City Harbor/Port at roughly 2 pm to the borrow site, dredged the first true load of sand, sailed to the pump-out station, and started delivering sand to Atlantic Beach at approximately 4:30 pm (see photos below).   Nourishment will progress eastward (i.e., “towards the Circle”) from the subline landing position near “Station 1066+00” in Ocean Ridge (SEE MAP).  
         We should see strong productivity for this first week or two – the distance between the borrow source and pump-out station will be shortest now as the project in a macroscopic sense moves westward and further away from the borrow source.  A light load of sand was delivered to the beach as part of mandatory testing/inspections on Thursday before the storm came through, but again the project started in earnest today.

Photos (February 8, 2020)
Dune Feature Contoured
Slurry of Sand/Water Yellow Steel Ready to Work

We're basically all set to begin dredging and pumping sand on the beach.  

(A) The cube/pickup-line has been affixed to the submerged pipeline that lands on the beach (see 1/29/2020 for further explanation), and is ready to serve as a conduit for sand to be delivered from the hopper dredge.
(B) Much of the land-based beach pipe has been delivered and towed to the first subline landing area in Atlantic Beach (possibly 10,000 feet of pipe in total will ultimately be mobilized to the site).  

The dredge Liberty Island arrived on Monday (2/3/2020), and is undergoing a minor, minor type of repair while moored to one of berths at the Morehead City Harbor Port.   

Dredge inspections are tentatively scheduled for tomorrow morning (2/6/2020) and the project can start in earnest shortly thereafter.  However the weather/sea state could be problematic, and in that case, we are planning for a Saturday (2/8/2020) start date.   

1/29/2020 - PIPELINE ARRIVING; SUBMERGED LINE SET; LOOKING TO START NEXT WEEK.   - Lots of activity occurring on land and in the water (see photos below).   On the land side, a spate of flatbed trucks are delivering  30-inch diameter x approximately 30 feet long beach pipe to the Iron Steamer Regional Access, which obviously is now serving as a temporary staging area.  In the water, the first submerged pipeline (subline) has been towed, assembled just offshore, and landed in Atlantic Beach (see Station "1066+00").   Over the course of the next several days, the beach pipe will be transited by heavy equipment to the subline landing in Atlantic Beach while “the cube”/pick-up line apparatus will be affixed to the submerged pipeline in the water.  The cube/pick-up line serve as a transition buoy system if you will as sand is pumped from the dredge, through the cube/pick-up line, through the submerged line, and through the beach pipe that is added as nourishment progresses up and down the beach.   If there are no weather delays, the dredge Liberty Island is scheduled to arrive, get inspected, and start on Thursday, February 6th.   Again, weather could play a factor.   

Photos (January 29, 2020)
Subline Landing 2 Close up of bell joint (will attach to subline)
 Staging of Pipe at Iron Steamer Staging on the Beach 

1/22/20 - IRON STEAMER WILL SERVE AS STAGING AREA, STILL LOOKING AT 1st WEEK of FEBRUARY.  Not much change to the anticipated schedule mentioned in the 1/8/20 update below.  Ideally the first submerged pipeline (subline) will be towed offshore and placed in position early next week (see “1st Pipeline Landing” MAP).  The dredge Liberty Island should arrive shortly thereafter and if the weather cooperates with the placement of the subline and everything else, we could begin nourishment the first week of February working eastward (i.e., “towards the Circle”) from the 1st subline landing.  Also note staging of the land-based pipeline sections, heavy equipment, etc. will now be at the Iron Steamer Access in Pine Knoll Shores.    

The project sponsors (Carteret County, Atlantic Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, & Emerald Isle), Engineers (Moffatt & Nichol), and the dredging contractor (Great Lakes Dredge & Dock) had a pre-construction meeting earlier today that essentially “kicks-off” the project.   Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD) plans to mobilize land- and water-based pipe, heavy equipment, personnel, etc. starting next week and dredging/pumping is scheduled to begin in the first week of February.   An area at the Circle (Atlantic Beach) will serve as the main staging area for the land-based pipe.
       The dredge Liberty Island will arrive on-site first and will generally progress and “leapfrog” east to west from Atlantic Beach and continue into Pine Knoll Shores.  At some point in mid-March the larger hopper dredge, the Ellis Island will essentially relieve the Liberty Island of her duties and continue “leapfrogging” down the beach to finish the Phase II effort in West Emerald Isle before the April 30th environmental window closes for the sea turtle nesting season and other biological resources.   
       As described below, subsequent to completing a “cut” and filling the hopper, the dredge will travel and discharge (pump) sand via a buoyed pick-up pipeline located offshore that transitions to the pre-construction dry beach via a submerged pipeline assembly (or "subline").  A secondary “elbow’ connection is used to transport material in one direction (east), then the other direction (west) along the beach to complete approximately 1 - 2 mile sections as lengths of pipe are added and subsequently broken down. The pick-up line/subline/elbow assemblies are subsequently transited (leapfrogged) down the beach until the nourishment reaches have been filled.   The following maps have been updated depicting the approximate locations where the sublines will land in succession for West Atlantic Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, Salter Path, and West Emerald Isle.

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock should begin mobilizing land- and water-based pipe, heavy equipment, personnel, etc. in January 2020 and although the schedule is tentative, dredging/pumping could begin in February 2020The dredge Liberty Island will be assigned to the project for the entire duration, while the larger hopper dredge, the Ellis Island will be responsible for the far west reaches such as West Emerald Isle (perhaps Salter Path) and will be employed for the project for a couple/few weeks.   We will have a pre-construction meeting soon and determine the main equipment staging locations and points of beach access for heavy equipment at that time.

for The Post Florence Renourishment Project (Phase II)


Phase II of the Post Florence Renourishment Project will utilize 1,995,000 cubic yards (cy) of sand obtained from the Offshore Dredged Material Disposal Site (ODMDS) associated with Morehead City Federal Navigation Project.  West Emerald Isle (EI), Salter Path (IB), Pine Knoll Shores (PKS), and West Atlantic Beach will receive 345,000 cy, 140,000 cy, 990,000 cy, and 520,000 cy, respectively along 9.5 miles of shorelines in four discrete reaches depicted in the Project Construction Map above. As a mental picture, a conventional dump truck holds roughly 12 cubic yards of wet sand. The project is scheduled to be conducted between January 1 to April 30, 2020 and therefore within the construction window established to limit impacts to biological resources.  The dredging contract has been awarded to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock and the ocean-certified, self-contained hopper dredges Liberty Island and Ellis Island will be employed for the project - similar to the Phase I effort in 2019.  


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 via 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 approximately 1 - 2 mile sections as lengths of pipe are added and subsequently broken down. 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, possibly tilled, and opened for recreational use.  The dredges Liberty Island has a maximum capacity of 6,540 cy and the Ellis Island 14,800 cy under optimal conditions.


Project engineers use “stations” positioned along the beach to monitor construction progress and to verify in-place volumes of sand pumped on the beach by dredging contractors. The progress maps above provide detailed views of the Post Florence Renourishment Project (Phase II) reaches to be completed in 2020 with the location/identification of the station numbers and the location of buoyed pipelines. The shaded areas in red represent the completed portions of the project and will be updated on a weekly basis (at least) throughout construction.

The station numbers included in the progress maps conveniently correspond to thousands of linear feet along the beach. For instance, the distance between station “825+00” (Iron Steamer Access) and “896+00” (Memorial Park Access) on the Reach 9 - Pine Knoll Shores Area of Detail graphic above is 7,100 feet. If you visit the beaches of Bogue Banks this winter, you may see wood or metal stakes at the base of the dunes that will identify these station numbers as such.



The geographical extents and basic geometries of the Phase II, Post Florence Renourishment Project are included in the accompanying "Key Documents" on top of this webpage, and the project was formulated based upon design and cash-flow considerations.  Every municipality along Bogue Banks has or is scheduled to receive sand between the Phase I  and Phase II projects while maximizing the local and State funding we have in hand to address all of the more critically eroded areas along the Island, coupled with any FEMA funding that has been received to date.  Weeks Marine and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock furnished bids for the Phase II effort with the former (Great Lakes) providing the lowest awardable bid price.   Great Lakes was also our Phase I contractor.  Phase III of the Post-Florence Renourishment Project is tentatively scheduled for winter 2020-2021 and will encompass Central and Western Emerald Isle. 

In cross-section going from the top of the dune seaward, the beachfill will be contoured by; (1) tying into the existing, eroded frontal dune at +12 or +13 feet NAVD 88 and maintaining that top dune elevation at vary lengths as one progresses seaward, (2) the slope of the newly constructed frontal dune will be graded on a 5:1 slope to the elevation of +6 feet NAVD 88, (3) the beach berm (flat part of the beach) will be extended from that point seaward at +6 feet NAVD 88 at varying lengths, and (4) the slope of the fill from the berm crest out to sea will be on a 20:1 slope.  The newly created dune crest and dune slope will be planted (vegetated) with Sea Oats as part of the contract (see typical cross-section above).     

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 and 2007 Section 933 Project that utilized channel material for beach nourishment and 2004, 2007, 2013. and 2019  post hurricane projects 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 Moffatt & Nichol, who has been retained by the Bogue Banks communities as the engineering consultant for the Post-Florence Renourishment Project, has performed additional sediment sampling and analyses in the ODMDS to hone the areas of beach quality sand.