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Kitty Hawk Town Council receives beach monitoring report

A large portion of the February 4 Kitty Hawk Town Council meeting saw Ken Willson, with APTIM Coastal Planning and Engineering of North Carolina, Inc., provide council members with an overview of the shoreline monitoring report following a 2017 beach nourishment project.

Willson said the project had three main goals:

  • shoreline erosion mitigation
  • flooding reduction
  • reduce the vulnerability of waterfront homes

In cooperation with Dare County, Kitty Hawk joined Kill Devil Hills and Duck in a beach nourishment project to add sand to its 3.6 miles of beach. During the latter stages of the project’s design, Southern Shores experienced a severe erosion episode and about 1,500 feet of its shoreline was added to the project.

According to Willson, a series of charts and graphs with data collected in December 2017, when compared to the information gathered in a re-project survey, indicate about two million cubic yards of sand were added to the oceanfront in Kitty Hawk and that the overall goals were met. He went on to say, however, that one year after the project a June 2018 survey shows that Kitty Hawk may have lost approximately 587,000 cubic yards.

Willson then pointed out that there were a number of anomalous features consisting of wide and deep troughs across various survey points which may affect recorded volume changes and that there is evidence that the project is not losing all the sand that some of the data suggests.

He went on to say that surveys every 500 feet rather than the current 1,000 foot span would double the cost of the project. As an alternative, making a survey parallel to the shoreline is more cost effective and helped fill in data not previously available from traditional station surveys.

Offering a word of caution, he pointed out also that the changes measured between December 2017 and June 2018 may be too short a time to be indicative of how the project areas will respond over a longer period.

Willson closed with a recommendation that the entire project area from Duck to Kill Devil Hills continues to be monitored for trends in sand movement and to identify areas of concern and a suggested schedule for permits and additional beach renourishment.

In other business for the night, council selected Councilwoman Tina Tice to replace Councilman Jeff Pruitt as the council liaison on the Kitty Hawk Recreation Committee. They then approved a resolution in support of naming the new bridge across Oregon Inlet the N.C. Senate President Pro Tempore Marc Basnight Bridge, in recognition and appreciation of Basnight’s service to the people of the Coastal Plain as well as the entire state of North Carolina. A second resolution called for retaining the name of former U.S. Congressman Herbert C. Bonner for portions of the old bridge across Oregon Inlet that will remain after the new bridge opens.

Town manager Andy Stewart also thanked staff members Ben Alexander, Lynn Morris, Liliana Noble, Mike Basilone, Sharon Davenport, Jamie Ewers and Melody Clopton for their work on the town’s new website.

The next Kitty Hawk Town Council meeting is Monday, March 5 at 6 p.m. in the Town Hall meeting room at 101 Veterans Memorial Drive.

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