This beach nourishment update was produced by Current TV and highlights the beach nourishment project that is ongoing in
Nags Head and other communities on the Outer Banks.


Outer Banks Beach Nourishment: What You Need To Know

While the Outer Banks coastline is beautiful, it is also very delicate. Storms, high winds, and tidal changes contribute to beach erosion. To restore and preserve our fragile coastline, the Town of Nags Head is implementing a critical beach nourishment project in the summer of 2019. progress throughout the course of the project. Many visitors and residents will not experience any impacts. Thank you for understanding how important beach nourish- ment is to the future of our communities. Please enjoy your stay, and return soon to see the wonderful results.

So, What Is Beach Nourishment?

Beach nourishment is the process of pumping sand onto an eroding shoreline to widen the existing beach. Sand is taken from either a sandbar, a dredged inlet, or an offshore borrow site on the ocean floor. Beach nourishment increases defense from coastal storms and beach erosion saving beaches and homes and business that border the beaches. Locals and visitors alike know that beach nourishment is necessary to protect the beautiful beaches we all love so dearly.

How Will The Beach Nourishment Process Affect Me? 

Any given section of beach might be shut down for 4 to 6 days to ensure public safety. Bulldozers, loaders, and excavators will be used in this process. This equipment contains back up lights and alarms so it may be a bit noisy. Shore pipeline will be laid to allow for sand to be pumped from the offshore station to the active construction site. This pipeline will run parallel to the beach so they will be visible, however, sand ramps will be built over the pipelines to allow safe access from the beach to the ocean.

While specific areas will be affected for a limited time, the nourishment process isn’t terribly disruptive and you can still enjoy soaking up the sun, playing in the waves, and spending time with friends and family on your Outer Banks vacation! And, even better? When the beach nourishment is complete, not only will we have more beach to love, but our beautiful shoreline will be better protected from storms and erosion. Nags Head beach nourishment calls for sand to be placed on 10 miles of beach during the summer of 2019 from around milepost 11 to around milepost 21. Click below for beach nourishment updates for each town including work schedules and impact zones.

Only the beach in Nags Head between 2919 S. Virginia Dare Trail (the Bonnett Street public beach access) near Mile Post 11 and the town line with Cape Hatteras National Seashore (Mile Post 21) will be affected. Detailed sand pumping location information will be available on the progress map located at, which will be updated during construction.

Depending upon the location of the operations, you may experience some temporary construction noise, night illumination, and beach access diversions. Please be patient with our much needed projects – beach nourishment is vital to our future.

Why do they work in the summer?

The summer and early fall are the safest times to perform the work. Frequent late fall, winter, and early spring storms make working off our shore very dangerous.

Will they pump sand onto the beach in more than one place at a time?

Because we have such a short weather window in which to complete the project, there may be more than one section of the beach affected at a time.

How long will construction affect my property?

About 1,000 feet of the beach will be directly impacted during construction at any one time. Construction is anticipated to impact properties between 3-5 days.

Do they work certain days of the week or certain hours of the day?

The contractors will work 24/7 until the project is complete, depending on conditions.

Will I be able to get to the beach while the project underway?

Yes! If construction limits access directly in front of your property, you may need to enter the beach at an alternate beach access, which may be a matter of walking a few hundred feet around the construction area.

Sand ramps will be placed over a temporary pipeline at every public access and then in intervals of 300 feet, allowing people to get across and enjoy the beach seaward of the pipeline. There will be a wide beach after nourishment, giving people large areas seaward of the pipeline to enjoy. The newly built beach may be a bit darker than the old beach, but it will quickly bleach out from the sun.

Or, you may take the opportunity to visit beaches throughout Dare County which offer public access outside of the immediate project area, or visit one of the many attractions located on the Outer Banks.

Is construction noisy?

You will be able to tell if construction operations are underway in front of your property. The sounds you will typically hear are the back-up alarms from bulldozers and trucks, which are required by federal law. Lights will be used on the beach throughout the night and may be visible from homes.

For more information and updates visit the More Beach To Love website.