EMERALD ISLE — The Carteret County Beach Commission voted Monday to endorse a plan to apply for a U.S. Department of Defense grant for beach nourishment on Radio Island in connection with a dredging project in east Taylor’s Creek.
The commission, which met in the Emerald Isle commissioners’ meeting room and virtually via Zoom, acted after hearing and discussing a proposal from Greg Rudolph, manager of the County Shore Protection Office.
“We had a conference call with the (U.S.) Navy and they were very interested in this project, so we are very optimistic,” Mr. Rudolph told the commission of the $650,000 grant.
Several years ago, the county began planning a project to dredge and realign east Taylor’s Creek to match the stretch along the Beaufort waterfront. The spoils were to be deposited on the Atlantic Veneer property on Lennoxville Road.
However, Mr. Rudolph told the commission Monday erosion on Radio Island has accelerated, so the plan is to nourish the county-operated public beach access on Radio Island. In addition, sand would be placed along Marine Road, which the U.S. Navy uses and where erosion also has spiked and two power poles are threatened.
That use is a key to getting the DoD grant, which would pay for about a third of the dredging and nourishment project.
Another $1,300,000 has already been secured from the N.C. Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Aquatic Weed Fund Grant. The DoD grant would be the required non-state match for the $1,950,000 total project.
The spoils would be moved to Radio Island through a 3.5-mile-long pipeline in the creek, then spread on the island roughly from Old Town Yacht Club southward, parallel to Marine Road to the land craft utility ramp and bulkhead, approximately 2,800 linear feet.
Mr. Rudolph said the Navy has been trying for some time to put rock along Marine Road to protect it from erosion, and the additional sand would be more room for the rocks.
“(The erosion) is very bad,” he said.
Beach commission Chairman and Emerald Isle Commissioner Jim Normile praised Mr. Rudolph for pivoting away from the Atlantic Veneer property to Radio Island, where the public beach is very narrow, particularly at high tide.
Mr. Normile called it “a win” for military families and others who use the public beach on the island, the Navy and boaters in Taylor’s Creek.
Mr. Rudolph said he hopes to go out for bids for the project in the fall and start work in the winter.
Don Kirkman, the recently retired director of the county’s economic development department, praised the project and Mr. Rudolph.
“(Erosion) has been identified as a problem” in ongoing efforts to help Radio Island reach its full economic development potential, he said.
“Rudi has found an incredibly innovative solution. Our beaches and waterways are a lot of what drives our county’s economy,” he continued.
The county already has a major Coastal Area Management Act permit for the dredging and realignment work, with a plan to remove around 36,000 cubic yards of material. That permit now has to be adjusted for the new spoils disposal site.
Applications for DoD grants are due Monday, July 12.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email firstname.lastname@example.org; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.