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Sediment Management Framework

Cape Hatteras National Seashore » Sediment Management Framework » Document List

The National Park Service (NPS) prepared an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) for a Sediment Management Framework (framework) at Cape Hatteras National Seashore (the Seashore). The framework includes certain sediment management activities implemented by the Seashore and by local jurisdictions, state agencies, and other federal agencies.

Authorized in 1937 along the Outer Banks of North Carolina, Cape Hatteras is the nation's first national seashore. Consisting of more than 30,000 acres distributed along approximately 67 miles of shoreline, the Seashore is part of a dynamic barrier island system. Nine villages, including Nags Head, Rodanthe, Waves, Salvo, Avon, Buxton, Frisco, Hatteras, and Ocracoke, are located adjacent to or within the Seashore. Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge, which is jointly managed by the Fish and Wildlife Service, is also located within the administrative boundary of the Seashore, south of Oregon Inlet.

Natural accretion and erosion processes have been impacted at the Seashore for decades due to anthropogenic activities (e.g., dune building, dune planting, inlet dredging and maintenance of dunes) and other changes (e.g., sea-level rise). Sediment management efforts have been used at the Seashore to control erosion and stabilize sand dunes. From the 1930s through the 1960s, active dune building, and revegetation efforts occurred along the Seashore. Since the 1970s, localized beach nourishment has been the primary method of combating shoreline erosion, but has been restricted to Ocracoke Island, the Buxton/Cape Hatteras area, and Rodanthe. In some places, segments of beach are relatively stable, and natural processes maintain high dunes. In other places, erosion results in ocean encroachment on the dunes and results in the ocean washing over onto North Carolina Highway 12 and within adjacent communities.

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Sabrina Henry