Florence Renourishment Project- PHASE III (2021)

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

1/20/2021 - 1st SUBMERGED PIPELINE LANDING SET IN REACH 1; FEBRUARY 12th CONTINUES TO BE THE START DATE.  The mobilization process is in full swing as equipment is being delivered to the Dog-Leg 4WD Access and perhaps more encouraging, Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD) set the 1st submerged pipeline ("subline") in Reach 1 yesterday (1/19/2021) - see map and photos below.   Sand will be pumped through this subline once the hopper dredge Liberty Island arrives as pipe will be added to the subline to pump sand west, then east from the subline landing point at the Point Emerald Villas/Lands End boundary.  Again, we are expected to dredge, hold, sail, and pump-out the first load of sand from the ODMDS borrow site on February 12th.

 PHOTOS - 1/20/2021
Subline Photo #1 Subline Photo #2 Subline Photo #3 Subline Photo #4

021 - MOBILIZATION SCHEDULE GENERALLY THE SAME, START DATE PUSHED TO FEBRAURY 12th.  Akin to building a house from the ground up (i.e., there’s always delays), Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD) has shifted the start of the project by a couple of weeks (see 1/6/2021 update immediately below).  The hopper dredge Liberty Island is thus scheduled to start on February 12th in Reach 1 (far west Emerald Isle) rather than during the last week of January as initially planned.   While inconvenient perhaps, there is no cause for alarm – we started our Phase II project last year (2020) on February 5th with a similar amount of cubic yards (just north of 2 million cubic yards) albeit a shorter sail distances to and from the borrow sources compared to the Phase III Project.  However, GLDD is already planning to keep the second and larger capacity hopper dredge, the Ellis Island on-site for a longer period of time to meet the April 30th project completion deadline.  Otherwise, the mobilization schedule pretty much remains the same – water based equipment has started arriving on-site in the Harbor (Morehead City) and the land-based equipment should start arriving next week (again using the dog-leg” 4-WD ramp near the Emerald Isle’s Eastern Regional Access as the main entry point to and from the beach).

The project sponsors (Carteret County and Emerald Isle), Engineers (Moffatt & Nichol), dredging contractor (Great Lakes Dredge & Dock), and State and federal resource agencies had our first weekly meeting earlier today for the Phase III Project.   The water-based equipment (submerged lines, tugs, ancillary vessels, etc.) should begin arriving later this week and the land-based pipe, office shacks, and “yellow steel” (bulldozers, front-end loaders, etc.) are scheduled to begin to be delivered to the site via flatbed trucks late next week.  The “dog-leg” 4-WD ramp near the Emerald Isle’s Eastern Regional Access will be the main access point for mobilizing and temporary staging this equipment.   The hopper dredge Liberty Island is scheduled to arrive and begin dredging/sailing/pumping sand somewhere in the January 24th  - 31st timeframe.  REACH 1 (far west Emerald Isle) will be nourished first (see MAP).

The project sponsors (Carteret County and Emerald Isle), Engineers (Moffatt & Nichol), and the dredging contractor (Great Lakes Dredge & Dock) had a pre-construction meeting earlier today with State and federal resource agencies that essentially “kicks-off” the project.   Great Lakes Dredge & Dock (GLDD) plans to mobilize land- and water-based pipe, heavy equipment, personnel, etc. starting in December and dredging/pumping is scheduled to begin in the final week of January 2021.   The "dog-leg" 4WD Ramp near the Emerald Isle Eastern Regional Access will serve as the main point to load and stage the land-based pipe.
       The dredge Liberty Island will arrive on-site first and will generally progress and “leapfrog” west to east in Central & East Emerald Isle.  At some point in mid-March the larger hopper dredge, the Ellis Island will accompany the Liberty Island and serve the Bogue Inlet Ocean Reach, and could subsequent stay on site to help complete the project 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 interface located offshore that transitions to the pre-construction dry beach via a long submerged pipeline (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 for Central & East Emerald Isle and Bogue Inlet Ocean.

for The Post Florence Renourishment Project (Phase III)


Phase III of the Post Florence Renourishment Project will utilize 2,012,850 cubic yards (cy) of sand obtained from the Offshore Dredged Material Disposal Site (ODMDS) associated with Morehead City Federal Navigation Project.  The project includes four discrete reaches totaling 9.4 linear miles of beach in Emerald Isle - Bogue Inlet Ocean (166,350 cy), West Emerald Isle (708,750 cy), Central Emerald Isle (537,750 cy), and East Emerald Isle (600,000 cy) as 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, 2021 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 and Phase II efforts in 2019 and 2020, respectively.  


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 apparatus located offshore that connects to a submerged pipeline extending to the pre-construction dry beach.  A secondary, land-based discharge pipe is used to transport material in one direction (east or west), then the other direction along the beach to complete approximately 1 - 2 mile sections as lengths of pipe are added and subsequently broken down. The buoyed apparatus/submerged pipeline assembly assembly is subsequently transited down the beach until the nourishment reaches have been filled. Dredged sand is 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 III) reaches to be completed in 2021 with the location/identification of the station numbers and the location of the submerged pipeline positions. 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 “197+00” (Bogue Inlet Pier) and “224+00” (Black Skimmer Ramp) in the Area of Detail graphic above is 2,700 feet.  If you visit the beaches of Emerald Isle 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 III, Post Florence Renourishment Project are included in the accompanying "Key Documents" on top of this webpage, and the Project sequencing as a whole (Phases I through III) was based upon both design and cash-flow considerations.  Weeks Marine and Great Lakes Dredge & Dock furnished bids for the Phase III effort with the former (Great Lakes) providing the lowest awardable bid price.   Great Lakes was also our Phase I and II contractor.  

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 mostly +12 to +14 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 predominantly Sea Oats as part of the contract (see typical cross-section above).  Note: The Reach 5 (East Emerald Isle) nourishment template is "berm only" as dune construction was completed in 2019 as part of the Phase I effort. 

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 the 2004, 2007, 2013, 2019, and 2020 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.