BEACH PROJECT FAQ’s
1. When can I extend my beach crossover across the new dune? CAMA has determined that crossovers may not be extended over newly constructed dune and berm areas, until they have “stable and natural vegetation” as determined by Division of Coastal Management (DCM). This could take up to 2 years. 2. When will the new dune be vegetated? The Town has hired Coastal Transplants to plant over 900,000 sea oats on the dune system. The planting will begin in July and continue through October. What cannot be completed by October will be finished up next planting season. The planting will begin at the seaward toe of the existing dune, through the valley and up over the crest of the new dune. 3. What alternatives are there to a traditional wooden crossover to access the beach? Oceanfront owners and their designee have the right to access the beach, by crossing the dune with no structural crossover or designated pathway. Pedestrian beach mats can also be used to lay over the dune providing a more stable walkway. Also, CAMA has given special consideration to our situation and will allow small post and rope to be used to help navigate the steeper sections of the new dune, based on the following guidelines: posts cannot be greater than 4X4, no deeper than 5 feet, spaced no closer than 7 feet, only rope railings can be used and it must be at least 3 feet above the ground to avoid sea turtle interactions. *POSTS AND ROPE MAY NOT BE INSTALLED UNTIL AFTER PLANTING HAS BEEN DONE ON THE NEW DUNE*
4. What is a pedestrian beach mat, and do I need a permit to install one over the new dune? Pedestrian beach mats vary in size, color and material depending on the manufacturer. They can also be hand made from PVC pipe, rope, and wooden slats. Generally, they are between 4’ and 8’ wide and must be easily removable. No permit is required from CAMA or the Town to install a pedestrian beach mat so long as it can be “easily removed”. Pedestrian beach mats can be pinned down with things like tent stakes and helicoil corkscrews. 5. Am I required to extend my beach crossover? No. When the time comes that CAMA allows crossovers to be extended, oceanfront owners will have the choice of whether to extend their crossover or not.
6. Can I install sand fence on the new dune? Unfortunately, because there is no “stable and natural vegetation” on the new dune, CAMA regulations do not allow for sand fence on the new dune to build up sand or to funnel pedestrian traffic over the dune in a designated area. Sand fence can be installed on the existing dune in the valley, between the two dunes, so long as it meet’s CAMA’s exemption guidelines (orientated 45 degrees, sections no longer that 10 feet in length, minimum 7 feet apart. Also, sand fence may not extend more than 10 feet waterward of the toe of the dune).
7. What activity is permissible on the new dune? The Town ask’s residents and visitors alike to respect and protect the entire dune system here in Topsail Beach. Please limit activity on the new dune to what is necessary to access the beach. We encourage you to use the new 75 feet of dry sand beach area for your physical activities (walking, running, exercising) as well as your beach equipment (towels, chairs, tents etc.). Restrictions on the new dune may increase once it is vegetated.
8. Was the project completed and when is the next nourishment project planned? The beach nourishment project had two components; dredging and sand placement on the beach. The sand placement on the beach was mostly completed, although there is still sand to be placed south of Drum Ave. There is also some dredging work that was not completed. Even though the Town was given an extension to work through the month of May, the extension did not include work in some of the side channels. Therefore, Week’s Marine will be returning to Topsail Beach in the next dredging season (late fall/early winter).
9. Why is the profile of the beach different on the south end? A: The profile of the beach was designed with a valley in between the existing dune and the new dune. The valley is a design item intended to strengthen the dune system. Once planted, the vegetation will grow up through the wind-blown transport of sand, resulting in a “root mat core” to the dune system. Unfortunately, the southern section between Sea Vista and Crocker Avenue was completely destroyed from Hurricane Florence and had to be restored. In rebuilding from both sides, there was not space for the dozers to be able to create the preferred 4' deep valley and thus the valley there is only 2’ deep in this area.