Post-Florence Renourishment Project - Phase II (2020)

(please scroll further down for an interpretation guide and general project overview) 

3/30/2020 - LAST FLIP IN PINE KNOLL SHORES - 3,500 LINEAR FEET TO GO BEFORE SALTER PATH.   Despite a persistent southwest wind generating choppy seas all weekend, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock’s dredge, the Ellis Island powered through and completed pumping sand in the eastward direction from the submerged pipeline landing in Beacon’s Reach (“Line 5”).  SEE 3/30/2020 PROGRESS MAP.  Thus, we’re now pumping sand westward from Line 5 to complete Reach 9 (the Pipe Knoll Shores Reach).  We have 3,500 linear feet remaining before we transition over to Line 6 that serves Salter Path (see Map).  This is anticipated to take place on April 3rd (weather or mechanically dependent).  

3/26/2020 - ELLIS ISLAND CONTINUES WORKING; CLOSE TO THE HOME STRETCH IN PINE KNOLL SHORES.   As mentioned in the March 23rd update, the dredge Liberty Island went into harbor on March 24th for maintenance/repair and will subsequently sail to her next job.  The dredge Ellis Island will remain on-site for the remainder of the project and is presently pumping through the submerged pipeline landing in Beacon’s Reach (“Line 5”).  Nourishment is progressing eastward from the landing towards the completed section of the project (see 3/26/2020 PROGRESS MAP).   We should complete this eastern leg over the weekend and begin heading west from the landing to complete the entire Pine Knoll Shores section of the project (i.e., “Reach 9”).     
         We should begin the Salter Path reach (“Reach 7”) towards the middle portion of next week, and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock is busy today as well setting the submerged pipeline that will service this area – “Line 6” (see Map).
        During the second full week of April, we should begin “Reach 2”, or West Emerald Isle.  The submerged pipeline has already been sunk here as “Line 7”, and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock has begun transporting beach pipe in this direction starting this morning.  They intend to stack the pipes just east of Bogue Inlet Pier on a temporary basis, before transiting the pipes under the Pier, and then continuing westward to Reach 2 (see Map). 

Both dredges, the Liberty Island and Ellis Island have been working in tandem since the Ellis Island arrived this past Thursday (March 19th).   The Liberty Island has been on-site since we started on February 8th and will depart tomorrow morning (March 24th), while the Ellis Island will remain until the project is complete.   The Liberty Island has been tremendously productive and are sorry to see her leave, but are pleased the Ellis Island is here to complete the project.   She is the largest capacity hopper dredge in the United States, and is perfectly suited for the longer distances between the borrow source and the farthest west reaches of the project (namely Salter Path and West Emerald Isle).    
In terms of progress, the Liberty Island and Ellis Island have generally been pumping sand through submerged pipeline landing #4 (“Line 4”) near the Whaler Inn, and have been adding sand towards the west.   Sometimes the dredging cycles coincide and to avoid waiting on each other at Line 4, the Liberty Island has sailed to Line 5 and begun pumping sand back eastward (see 3/23/2020 PROGRESS MAP). 

3/19/2020 - THE ELLIS ISLAND HAS ARRIVED; FLIPPING THE PIPE ON LINE 4 AND WORKING OFF LINE 5.  There’s A LOT of activity in the water and on the beach today.  As scheduled the largest hopper dredge in the U.S., the Ellis Island arrived before daylight this morning, underwent environmental testing (mostly related to sea turtle protection), and started dredging this late morning.  The dredge Liberty Island has been working seamlessly in the interim, and again is scheduled to depart on March 23rd as the Ellis Island remains for the duration of the Project.
     On the land – both dredges are concurrently dredging the sand from the borrow source (see “ODMDS”), and traveling back and forth to pump the slurry of sand and water to Line 4 OR Line 5 (see 3/19/2020 PROGRESS MAP).   Earlier this week, the Liberty Island was utilizing line 4 and pumping east back to the completed section of beach, but we have now “flipped the pipe” and are progressing westward off of Line 4, heading towards the Iron Steamer Regional Access and beyond.   Nourishment will progress east of Line 5 (again see map).
     To this end, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock has three submerged pipeline assemblies on-site.  Two are now “active”, which as described above is Line 4 and 5.  The other is basically “inactive” for now but has been sunk in west Emerald Isle as Line 7 (see map).
   Scheduling wise (mechanical and weather dependent) – the first week of April could see Pine Knoll Shores completed and the Salter Path reach (map) started and nearly complete as well.  The second week in April through the third week of April includes the start and completion of West Emerald Isle (map). 

Photos (March 19, 2020)
Ellis Island with 1st Load 
Waiting at Line 4 for the Ellis Island

3/16/2020 - STARTING ON SUBMERGED PIPELINE LANDING #4 ("LINE 4").   Great Lakes Dredge & Dock successfully completed nourishment operations off of the 3rd submerged pipeline landing location (a.k.a. “Line 3”) on Saturday and transitioned over to “Line 4” situated just east of the Iron Steamer Regional Access.   Nourishment activities will progress east from this point back towards the completed section of the beach; then “flip” to the west (SEE 3/16/2020 PROGRESS MAP).  The dredge Ellis Island is on schedule to start working in tandem with the Liberty Island on Thursday (March 19th).   As mentioned in the most previous update, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (and the Project Sponsors) are taking COVID-19 very seriously and have implemented a spate of precautionary measures for both land- and water-based personnel.  


Progress – We’re continuing to work off “line 3”, working westward (the discharge point/spreader is along the stretch of beach at Dogwood Circle).  Great Lakes Dredge & Dock should be moving to “Line 4” in a day or two, where the dredge Liberty Island will service.  Once on Line 4, nourishment will head east to tie into the completed portion of the project.  (See 3/12/2020 PROGRESS MAP).

Ellis Island – The schedule for the Ellis Island’s arrival (see 3/5/2020 update below) has been bumped to March 18th, and after some testing should start dredging/pumping the next day (March 19th).  Again, both the Ellis Island and Liberty Island will work in tandem until the Liberty Island departs the project on March 23rd while the Ellis Island will remain until the Project is complete.

COVID-19 – We had (and continue to have) discussions concerning COVID-19, and its impact to the Project, especially to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock’s operations, and the well-being of their personnel and all others (sponsors, regulatory community, etc.) associated with the Project.

Photos (March 9, 2020)
Drone Photo 2 - courtesy of PKS Police 
Drone Photo 3 - courtesy of PKS Police

3/9/2020 - PKS ROUGHLY 25% COMPLETE (40% OVERALL).   Over the weekend Great Lakes Dredge & Dock “flipped the pipe” at the 3rd submerged pipeline (subline) landing (SEE 3/9 PROGRESS MAP).  The section from the 3rd subline back east towards Atlantic Beach is completed and we’re now heading west from the 3rd subline – the outfall is currently near Memorial Park, meaning we’re roughly 25% complete in Pine Knoll Shores (PKS) alone, and about 40% overall for the entire 9.5 mile, 2 million cubic yard project.     

3/5/2020 - GET READY FOR THE
ELLIS ISLAND.   The dredge Liberty Island has been the only dredge on site since the project started in earnest on February 8th, and obviously has been tremendously productive delivering approximately 522,000 cubic yards in reach 10 (basically Atlantic Beach) and over 90,000 cubic yards already in Reach 9 (basically Pine Knoll Shores).  That’s the equivalent of roughly 51,000 dump trucks worth of sand in less than a month.   She (the Liberty Island) has been in Port the past day and a half to refuel and take care of some minor, minor repairs but is back in action today.   On March 16th, the dredge Ellis Island is expected to arrive on site to accompany the Liberty Island for a week before the Liberty Island is relieved from the project.  The Ellis Island will remain onsite for the remainder of the project, and is the largest hopper dredge in the United States with a maximum capacity of 14,800 cubic yards – the Liberty Island has a maximum capacity of 6,540 cubic yards as a comparison, which is also considered as a large hopper dredge in its own right.  The week of March 16th is going to be very active in the water and on the beach with both dredges scheduled to pump off the same line.  Please remember the active area of pumping/nourishment is a construction zone and respect all warning signs and flagging to this effect.
     With respect to our progress on the beach, please see the 3/5/2020 UPDATE MAP – we’re continuing to pump off line 3 and heading east to tie back into Atlantic Beach.   More great drone photos from the Pine Knoll Shores Police Department below. 

Photos (March 2, 2020)
Drone Photo 2 - courtesy of PKS Police 
Drone Photo 3 - courtesy of PKS Police

On Saturday, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock completed “REACH 10”, which entails the area from the Circle westward past the Double Tree in Atlantic Beach and the first 1,400 linear feet of Pine Knoll Shores (see AB Progress Map).  Pumping operations accordingly have transitioned to the submerged pipeline (subline) landing at Station “914+50” east of Memorial Park.  As depicted in today’s PKS Progress Map – nourishment is progressing east of this subline landing back towards the beach fill completed.  Also, the subline that was being utilized in Atlantic Beach (subline 2) has been relocated and landed near the Whaler Inn (Pine Knoll Shores) – “leapfrogging”.  Photos at the DoubleTree Pier this morning (Shore Protection Office) and drone photos obtained by the Pine Knoll Shores Police Department over the weekend.

Photos (March 2, 2020)
DoubleTree Pier Looking by West
Drone Photo 2 - courtesy of PKS Police DoubleTree Pier Looking East

2/27/2020 - WE'RE IN PINE KNOLL SHORES.  This past evening, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock progressed westward under the DoubleTree Pier and entered into Pine Knoll Shores, signifying the conclusion of Atlantic Beach and the beginning of the Pine Knoll Shores beachfill - See 2/27/2020 PROGRESS MAP (currently at the Seahawk Inn).  Nourishment continues to progress westward from a submerged pipeline (subline) landing situated near Smuggler's Cove/Ocean Sands.  However, over this upcoming weekend, pumping operations will transition over to subline landing 3 in Pine Knoll Shores, located east of Memorial Park.  Nourishment will progress east of this point to tie into the section that is being completed (see Pine Knoll Shores update map).  Also this weekend, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock might try to install subline 4 at "Station 830+50", which is just east of the Iron Steamer regional access.  Nifty yet foggy photos below taken yesterday on the DoubleTree Pier.   

Photos from The DoubleTree Pier (February 26, 2020)
Contouring the Beach After a Pump-Out Cycle
Foggy Pump-Out  Pipe Under the Pier 
Foggy Pump-Out #2 Transiting Pipe Under the Pier
 Dozers and Front-end Loader Working Hard After a Pump-Out Cycle

2/20/20 – LEAPFROGGING; PUMPING BACK TOWARDS THE EAST OFF THE 2nd SUBMERGED PIPELINE.   On Tuesday (2/18/20), Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD) finished utilizing their 1st submerged pipeline ("subline") landing and the dredge Liberty Island subsequently started pumping off the 2nd subline landing that is situated near Smugglers Cove, Atlantic Beach – nourishment is progressing east from this point (SEE 2/20/2020 PROGRESS MAP).  The 1st subline configuration was also moved on Tuesday to the 3rd landing position in Pine Knoll Shores (see Map).   Later today/tomorrow, the Liberty Island will stop dredging and go inside the Morehead City Harbor for supplies/servicing, which was purposely scheduled to coincide with the winter storm and rough seas that is forecasted to impact the area during the same time.   This will be the first stoppage since the project started on 2/8/20.  As a rough, in-house estimate; approximately 8,000 linear feet of beach has been completed in less than 12 days, resulting in 280,000 cubic yards of sand placed and contoured on the beach (well over the equivalent of 23,000 dump trucks!).

2/17/2020 – AWESOME PROGRESS, 2nd SUBMERGED PIPELINE SET.  We had great “dredging weather” this past weekend with no mechanical issues, thus enabling; (a) seamless, repeated rotations between the borrow site to dredge and sailing to the beach to pump out, and (b) an opportunity to set the 2nd submerged pipeline (“subline”) that is situated at “Station 992+50” at Smugglers Cove.  Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLLD) has multiple subline assemblies here on site and will continue “leapfrogging” the sublines to the west.   GLLD should be finished progressing west off the 1st subline landing in a day or two and will transition to the 2nd subline landing, pumping sand back eastward (SEE 2/17/2020 PROGRESS MAP).  Some nice examples of dune construction below.

Photos (February 17, 2020) - Dune Construction Before a Pump-Out Cycle
New "Baby" Dune Freshly Contoured
Buried Stairs = dune tie in at +12 Feet Bulldozers Contouring Dune - no poles/stakes; all GPS

2/14/2020 – PIPE FLIPPED AT 1st SUBMERGED PIPELINE LANDING (HEADING WEST NOW).  Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD) completed going east (or past the Circle) yesterday afternoon, and has subsequently “flipped the pipe” at the 1st submerged pipeline landing and are now progressing westward (see 2/14/2020 Progress Map).  GLDD plans to tug and install the 2nd submerged pipeline over the weekend, and pumping operations should start on this 2nd landing sometime next week once they finish the western leg off the 1st landing.  Dredging operations have pretty much been uninterrupted since they first started on Saturday (2/8/2020), and we’re hoping for the same this upcoming week.

2/10/2020 (8:00 am) – NICE PROGRESS.   As expected, we’re experiencing some strong productivity a little over a day and a half into the project (~1,600 linear feet) as the sand is being pumped eastward from the first subline landing (see 2/10/20 update map and photos below).  The second "subline" (again see map) is scheduled to be set later today at Station "992+50". 

Photos (February 10, 2020) - Just After A Pump-Out
Photo 3
Photo 2 Photo 4

2/8/2020 – PROJECT START!   The seas have subsided subsequent to the storm we experienced over the course of the past couple of days, and the dredge Liberty Island departed from the Morehead City Harbor/Port at roughly 2 pm to the borrow site, dredged the first true load of sand, sailed to the pump-out station, and started delivering sand to Atlantic Beach at approximately 4:30 pm (see photos below).   Nourishment will progress eastward (i.e., “towards the Circle”) from the subline landing position near “Station 1066+00” in Ocean Ridge (SEE MAP).  
         We should see strong productivity for this first week or two – the distance between the borrow source and pump-out station will be shortest now as the project in a macroscopic sense moves westward and further away from the borrow source.  A light load of sand was delivered to the beach as part of mandatory testing/inspections on Thursday before the storm came through, but again the project started in earnest today.

Photos (February 8, 2020)
Dune Feature Contoured
Slurry of Sand/Water Yellow Steel Ready to Work

We're basically all set to begin dredging and pumping sand on the beach.  

(A) The cube/pickup-line has been affixed to the submerged pipeline that lands on the beach (see 1/29/2020 for further explanation), and is ready to serve as a conduit for sand to be delivered from the hopper dredge.
(B) Much of the land-based beach pipe has been delivered and towed to the first subline landing area in Atlantic Beach (possibly 10,000 feet of pipe in total will ultimately be mobilized to the site).  

The dredge Liberty Island arrived on Monday (2/3/2020), and is undergoing a minor, minor type of repair while moored to one of berths at the Morehead City Harbor Port.   

Dredge inspections are tentatively scheduled for tomorrow morning (2/6/2020) and the project can start in earnest shortly thereafter.  However the weather/sea state could be problematic, and in that case, we are planning for a Saturday (2/8/2020) start date.   

1/29/2020 - PIPELINE ARRIVING; SUBMERGED LINE SET; LOOKING TO START NEXT WEEK.   - Lots of activity occurring on land and in the water (see photos below).   On the land side, a spate of flatbed trucks are delivering  30-inch diameter x approximately 30 feet long beach pipe to the Iron Steamer Regional Access, which obviously is now serving as a temporary staging area.  In the water, the first submerged pipeline (subline) has been towed, assembled just offshore, and landed in Atlantic Beach (see Station "1066+00").   Over the course of the next several days, the beach pipe will be transited by heavy equipment to the subline landing in Atlantic Beach while “the cube”/pick-up line apparatus will be affixed to the submerged pipeline in the water.  The cube/pick-up line serve as a transition buoy system if you will as sand is pumped from the dredge, through the cube/pick-up line, through the submerged line, and through the beach pipe that is added as nourishment progresses up and down the beach.   If there are no weather delays, the dredge Liberty Island is scheduled to arrive, get inspected, and start on Thursday, February 6th.   Again, weather could play a factor.   

Photos (January 29, 2020)
Subline Landing 2 Close up of bell joint (will attach to subline)
 Staging of Pipe at Iron Steamer Staging on the Beach 

1/22/20 - IRON STEAMER WILL SERVE AS STAGING AREA, STILL LOOKING AT 1st WEEK of FEBRUARY.  Not much change to the anticipated schedule mentioned in the 1/8/20 update below.  Ideally the first submerged pipeline (subline) will be towed offshore and placed in position early next week (see “1st Pipeline Landing” MAP).  The dredge Liberty Island should arrive shortly thereafter and if the weather cooperates with the placement of the subline and everything else, we could begin nourishment the first week of February working eastward (i.e., “towards the Circle”) from the 1st subline landing.  Also note staging of the land-based pipeline sections, heavy equipment, etc. will now be at the Iron Steamer Access in Pine Knoll Shores.    

The project sponsors (Carteret County, Atlantic Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, & Emerald Isle), Engineers (Moffatt & Nichol), and the dredging contractor (Great Lakes Dredge & Dock) had a pre-construction meeting earlier today that essentially “kicks-off” the project.   Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD) plans to mobilize land- and water-based pipe, heavy equipment, personnel, etc. starting next week and dredging/pumping is scheduled to begin in the first week of February.   An area at the Circle (Atlantic Beach) will serve as the main staging area for the land-based pipe.
       The dredge Liberty Island will arrive on-site first and will generally progress and “leapfrog” east to west from Atlantic Beach and continue into Pine Knoll Shores.  At some point in mid-March the larger hopper dredge, the Ellis Island will essentially relieve the Liberty Island of her duties and continue “leapfrogging” down the beach to finish the Phase II effort in West Emerald Isle before the April 30th environmental window closes for the sea turtle nesting season and other biological resources.   
       As described below, subsequent to completing a “cut” and filling the hopper, the dredge will travel and discharge (pump) sand via a buoyed pick-up pipeline located offshore that transitions to the pre-construction dry beach via a submerged pipeline assembly (or "subline").  A secondary “elbow’ connection is used to transport material in one direction (east), then the other direction (west) along the beach to complete approximately 1 - 2 mile sections as lengths of pipe are added and subsequently broken down. The pick-up line/subline/elbow assemblies are subsequently transited (leapfrogged) down the beach until the nourishment reaches have been filled.   The following maps have been updated depicting the approximate locations where the sublines will land in succession for West Atlantic Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, Salter Path, and West Emerald Isle.

Great Lakes Dredge & Dock should begin mobilizing land- and water-based pipe, heavy equipment, personnel, etc. in January 2020 and although the schedule is tentative, dredging/pumping could begin in February 2020The dredge Liberty Island will be assigned to the project for the entire duration, while the larger hopper dredge, the Ellis Island will be responsible for the far west reaches such as West Emerald Isle (perhaps Salter Path) and will be employed for the project for a couple/few weeks.   We will have a pre-construction meeting soon and determine the main equipment staging locations and points of beach access for heavy equipment at that time.

for The Post Florence Renourishment Project (Phase II)


Phase II of the Post Florence Renourishment Project will utilize 1,995,000 cubic yards (cy) of sand obtained from the Offshore Dredged Material Disposal Site (ODMDS) associated with Morehead City Federal Navigation Project.  West Emerald Isle (EI), Salter Path (IB), Pine Knoll Shores (PKS), and West Atlantic Beach will receive 345,000 cy, 140,000 cy, 990,000 cy, and 520,000 cy, respectively along 9.5 miles of shorelines in four discrete reaches depicted in the Project Construction Map above. As a mental picture, a conventional dump truck holds roughly 12 cubic yards of wet sand. The project is scheduled to be conducted between January 1 to April 30, 2020 and therefore within the construction window established to limit impacts to biological resources.  The dredging contract has been awarded to Great Lakes Dredge & Dock and the ocean-certified, self-contained hopper dredges Liberty Island and Ellis Island will be employed for the project - similar to the Phase I effort in 2019.  


Hopper dredges utilize dragheads affixed to trailing-arm suction pipes mounted on both sides of the vessel (port and starboard). The dragheads loosen the sand on the bottom off the seafloor and deliver the material to the vessel’s “belly” via the suction arms. Subsequent to completing a “cut” and filling the hopper, the dredge will travel and discharge (pump) sand via a buoyed pipeline located offshore that extends to the pre-construction dry beach. A secondary “T-valve” discharge pipe is used to transport material in one direction (east or west), then the other along the beach to complete approximately 1 - 2 mile sections as lengths of pipe are added and subsequently broken down. The buoyed pipeline and T-valve assembly is subsequently transited down the beach until the nourishment reaches have been filled. Dredged sand will be bulldozed into general construction specifications for subsequent grading into final contours, possibly tilled, and opened for recreational use.  The dredges Liberty Island has a maximum capacity of 6,540 cy and the Ellis Island 14,800 cy under optimal conditions.


Project engineers use “stations” positioned along the beach to monitor construction progress and to verify in-place volumes of sand pumped on the beach by dredging contractors. The progress maps above provide detailed views of the Post Florence Renourishment Project (Phase II) reaches to be completed in 2020 with the location/identification of the station numbers and the location of buoyed pipelines. The shaded areas in red represent the completed portions of the project and will be updated on a weekly basis (at least) throughout construction.

The station numbers included in the progress maps conveniently correspond to thousands of linear feet along the beach. For instance, the distance between station “825+00” (Iron Steamer Access) and “896+00” (Memorial Park Access) on the Reach 9 - Pine Knoll Shores Area of Detail graphic above is 7,100 feet. If you visit the beaches of Bogue Banks this winter, you may see wood or metal stakes at the base of the dunes that will identify these station numbers as such.



The geographical extents and basic geometries of the Phase II, Post Florence Renourishment Project are included in the accompanying "Key Documents" on top of this webpage, and the project was formulated based upon design and cash-flow considerations.  Every municipality along Bogue Banks has or is scheduled to receive sand between the Phase I  and Phase II projects while maximizing the local and State funding we have in hand to address all of the more critically eroded areas along the Island, coupled with any FEMA funding that has been received to date.  Weeks Marine and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock furnished bids for the Phase II effort with the former (Great Lakes) providing the lowest awardable bid price.   Great Lakes was also our Phase I contractor.  Phase III of the Post-Florence Renourishment Project is tentatively scheduled for winter 2020-2021 and will encompass Central and Western Emerald Isle. 

In cross-section going from the top of the dune seaward, the beachfill will be contoured by; (1) tying into the existing, eroded frontal dune at +12 or +13 feet NAVD 88 and maintaining that top dune elevation at vary lengths as one progresses seaward, (2) the slope of the newly constructed frontal dune will be graded on a 5:1 slope to the elevation of +6 feet NAVD 88, (3) the beach berm (flat part of the beach) will be extended from that point seaward at +6 feet NAVD 88 at varying lengths, and (4) the slope of the fill from the berm crest out to sea will be on a 20:1 slope.  The newly created dune crest and dune slope will be planted (vegetated) with Sea Oats as part of the contract (see typical cross-section above).     

The borrow source for this nourishment effort is the Offshore Dredged Material Disposal Site (ODMDS) associated with Morehead City Federal Navigation Project. This dump site is essentially a repository for dredged material historically extracted from the Outer Harbor reach of the navigation channel and based upon experiences with a 2004 and 2007 Section 933 Project that utilized channel material for beach nourishment and 2004, 2007, 2013. and 2019  post hurricane projects that actually utilized the ODMDS; we expect the sand quality to be excellent. This also makes intuitive sense, because for the most part, the shoal material that enters the navigation channel at Beaufort Inlet is sand that has traveled from adjacent beaches. Construction, or deepening material that resides in the ODMDS should be avoided. To this effect the firm of Moffatt & Nichol, who has been retained by the Bogue Banks communities as the engineering consultant for the Post-Florence Renourishment Project, has performed additional sediment sampling and analyses in the ODMDS to hone the areas of beach quality sand.