Beach Restoration to Protect NC Highway 12, Clean Water Act 404 and NPS Special Use Permits Environmental Assessment

Cape Hatteras National Seashore » Beach Restoration to Protect NC Highway 12, Clean Water Act 404 and NPS Special Use Permits Environmental Assessment » Document List

The US Army Corps of Engineers in cooperation with Cape Hatteras National Seashore has prepared an Environmental Assessment for permit applications by Dare County, North Carolina (Applicant) to place sand along a 3-mile length of Hatteras Island. Dare County has requested a Clean Water Act Section 404 permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers for the associated dredge and fill activities needed to accomplish the proposed beach nourishment activities. Dare County has requested a separate special use permit from the National Park Service for fill activities on Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

The federal action analyzed in the Environmental Assessment is to decide whether or not, and under what conditions, to issue the permits requested by the Applicant. The EA was prepared in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) of 1969 to address environmental concerns. The US Army Corps of Engineers is the lead agency and has primary responsibility for complying with NEPA on the proposed action.

If the permits are issued, the project would serve the following purposes according to the Applicant:
• To provide a wider beach and buffer storm waves along a critically eroding section of Hatteras Island.
• To reduce the frequency of storm damages to North Carolina Highway 12 (NC 12) and existing community infrastructure.
• To replace erosion losses and augment the regional supply of beach sand by utilizing a non-littoral borrow source of compatible sediments from an offshore borrow area.

The permitted project would encompass up to 15,500 linear feet (lf) of ocean beach (2.94 miles) that includess ~2.2 miles in the Cape Hatteras National Seashore and ~0.8 mile along the village of Buxton. The project would call for up to 2.6 million cubic yards of beach quality sand to be pumped onto the beach via dredge. The Applicant's proposed source of sand for beach nourishment is from an offshore borrow area situated within state waters about 1.7 miles off the former site of the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse. The borrow site is an isolated shoal in water depths between ~32 and 45 feet. Sand would be discharged along the beach via hydraulic pipeline and spread by land-based equipment at grades and slopes similar to the natural dry-sand and wet-sand beach. According to the Applicant, no nourishment sand would be placed on existing vegetation, dunes, shore-protection structures, or upland property.

The Environmental Assessment and all appendixes will be available for review and comment until October 19, 2015. These documents can be downloaded by selecting "Document List" above. More information is also available from the US Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District Public Notice website at: If you wish to comment on the environmental assessment, you may mail comments to:

Beach Restoration to Protect NC 12 Permits EA
US Army Corps of Engineers
Washington Regulatory Field Office
2407 W. 5th Street
Washington, North Carolina 27889
ATTN: Raleigh W. Bland, PWS

Contact Information

For more information, contact Raleigh Bland, Project Manager with the USACE at 910-251-4564 or Dennis Brookie, Project Manager for the National Park Service at 303-969-2493.