‘It’s reaching a crisis point’: Outer Banks leaders say they’re out of funding to save threatened beach communities – WRAL News
Dare County leaders said communities are at risk from coastal erosion, but state law is holding them back from finding potential solutions.
Dare County leaders said they can no longer afford to build back beaches in the Outer Banks that have been swallowed by the ocean, sending multiple houses collapsing in recent years…
North Topsail is getting millions for beach nourishment. How long will the sand last? – Star News Online
Last month North Carolina doled out nearly $20 million in grants to help coastal communities better fortify and rebuild beach infrastructure battered by recent hurricanes, tropical storms, and nor’easters.
But in a world where climate change is bringing higher seas and more frequent and ferocious storms to our shores, is investing taxpayer dollars in the sand that’s all but guaranteed to have a limited lifespan on the beach a smart investment?
Cottages have been tumbling into the ocean for as long as humans have been building along the Outer Banks. The difference now is that they appear to be falling in at a faster rate, and scores of homes are now at risk.
Areas of the Outer Banks have retreated over 200 feet in the last two decades and are currently losing about 13 feet a year.
Despite these risks, developers continue to add billions of dollars of real estate, from Corolla in the north to Ocracoke Village in the south, making the Outer Banks the fastest-growing section of the North Carolina coast. Property values have also soared to at an all-time high. Dare County, which includes thousands of beach homes, recently valued all of its property at nearly $18 billion. While the value of ocean property in smaller Currituck County has ballooned to almost $5 billion.
“It’s as if no one cares,” says Danny Couch, a Dare County Commissioner, real estate agent and sometimes tour guide. “A lot of people have so much money they don’t care about the risk.”
In the last decade alone, DOT has spent nearly $80 million dollars to keep hazard-prone NC 12 open for the year-round residents of the lower Outer Banks. That includes rebuilding the S-Curves three different times, but doesn’t include the cost of three new bridges needed to traverse inlets opened by storms or to bypass the rapidly eroding shoreline. Together, the bridges push the cost of maintaining NC 12 to about a half-billion dollars.
North Carolina law has prohibited hardened structures on its beaches and inlets for more than two decades.
Orrin H. Pilkey and area locals offer their perspective on North Topsail Beach, North Carolina.
This film explores the issues of the North Carolina coast through interviews with coastal experts and visits to numerous sites along the NC coast.
World famous coastal geologist Orrin H. Pilkey takes us to the beach and explains why erosion has become a problem.
South Nags Head, North Carolina, is a 5 mile long, 200 meter wide, strip of beach cottage development at the south end of town of Nags Head.