As part of its efforts to support local economies and protect coastal communities and habitats from the impacts of climate change, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has executed an agreement with Dare County, North Carolina, granting the county access to up to 6.6 million cubic yards of sand from the Outer Continental Shelf to restore 11.6 miles of beaches.
The project, slated for 2022, is part of Dare County’s long-term shoreline management program to sustain and protect popular Atlantic Coast beaches in the towns of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, and Kill Devil Hills, which are located on a narrow strip of barrier islands known as the Outer Banks. The project is designed to protect local infrastructure and property, restore the beaches, and prepare for more rapid recovery from storms.
BOEM is proud to work with Dare County to provide valuable sand resources to improve coastal resilience, protect coastal infrastructure, and provide recreational opportunities for surrounding communities,” said BOEM Director Amanda Lefton.
Beaches on the Outer Banks help drive the economy in Dare County, where the year-round population of 37,000 swells to 225,000 to 300,000 at times during summer months. Tourism and outdoor recreation account for $1.4 billion in direct spending in Dare County.
More frequent and powerful storms along the coastal United States coupled with sea level rise have led to greater demand for offshore sand resources that can be used to restore and protect coastal communities and habitats. BOEM partners with coastal communities like Dare County to address serious threats from erosion along the Nation’s coastal beaches, dunes, barrier islands, and wetlands.
BOEM has sole authority to convey Outer Continental Shelf sand resources for shoreline resilience and beach or wetland restoration projects undertaken by federal, state, or local governments. BOEM uses the findings of more than 30 years of scientific research to inform its leasing decisions.
The final Environmental Assessment and related documents are available on BOEM’s Marine Minerals Program’s North Carolina project page.
For more information about BOEM’s Marine Minerals Program, visit the website, http://www.boem.gov/Marine-Minerals-Program/.
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The Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) is responsible for America’s offshore energy and mineral resources. The bureau promotes energy independence, environmental protection and economic development through responsible, science-based management of energy and mineral resources on the U.S. Outer Continental Shelf.