Carteret County hires Division of Coastal Management staffer Ryan Davenport as next shore protection office manager

RYAN DAVENPORT

EMERALD ISLE —  When Ryan Davenport starts work as Carteret County Shore Protection Office manager Tuesday, Jan. 18, he knows he’ll have big shoes to fill in replacing Greg Rudolph.

But Mr. Davenport, whom the county hired for the job in mid-December after Mr. Rudolph resigned in November with 20 years in the position, also knows he has a wealth of relevant experience and will inherit a smoothly functioning team that includes county staff, a top engineering firm and knowledgeable members of the county beach commission, chaired by Jim Normile.

“I worked with Rudi (Mr. Rudolph) on a lot of beach nourishment projects and dredging projects,” as senior environmental specialist in the N.C. Division of Coastal Management’s Morehead City office, Mr. Davenport said in an interview this week.

 “I also worked with Rudi and the county on the 50-year (beach management) master plan, and I feel like Rudi left the program in such good shape that I just have to keep it running,” the newcomer added.

When Mr. Rudolph – who now works for Newport-based Geodynamics, the county’s beach surveying firm – left the county position, he said he was doing so to “explore new challenges and opportunities.” Mr. Davenport, 44, said he left his state job and applied for the county position for much the same reason.

He had worked for the federal and state governments for 20 years.

“I just felt like I needed new challenges,” he said. “It was time to do something different. And I love Bogue Banks.”

In preparation for the job, which is based in Emerald Isle, he’s been talking with the engineers at the county’s longtime firm, Moffatt & Nichol, getting updates on recent projects. In the past three years since Hurricane Florence in 2018, the county has spent millions of dollars in federal, state and county money to place millions of cubic yards of sand on Bogue Banks beaches, from the western tip of Emerald Isle to Fort Macon State Park at the eastern end of Atlantic Beach.

“The beaches are in great shape, and hopefully we won’t have to have any nourishment for a while, unless there’s a big storm,” Mr. Davenport said.

 “From what I’ve been told, the seas were as high as 15 feet during this recent (Jan. 3) storm and we didn’t really have any damage to the beach. The profiles are very good.”

The county is planning to start a major dredging and nourishment project in east Taylors Creek in Beaufort and on Radio Island soon, and there is another project underway, with Moffatt & Nichol, to identify sources of sand for future projects.

Mr. Davenport lives in Pine Knoll Shores with his wife, Sarah Davenport, a teacher at Morehead City Primary School, and their 10-year-old daughter and 5-year-old son. He’s also lived in Emerald Isle and Morehead City.

He is a 1999 graduate of N.C. State University with a bachelor’s degree in environmental science.

 

Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.

 

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