Coastal Hazards and Management in North Carolina. Braxton Davis April 14, 2015

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1 Coastal Hazards and Management in North Carolina Braxton Davis April 14, 2015

2 Coastal Facts and Figures 320 miles of ocean beaches 12,000+ miles of estuarine shoreline 2 million + acres of sounds, creeks, and marshes 43 million annual visitors Coastal tourism generates ~ $1.4 billion in annual revenue and directly supports over 15,000 jobs Since 1978, over 48,000 CAMA permits issued

3 N.C. Coastal Area Management Act (1974) Balances competing coastal pressures through development permitting and creation of a Coastal Resources Commission Addresses coastal growth and related issues through local/state partnership Conserves undeveloped land for education and research through a Coastal Reserve Program Enhances public access to beaches and coastal waters through grants to local governments

4 DCM Overview Regulatory Program 4 District Offices; Local Permitting Officers Policy and Planning Program Policy development w/ CRC CAMA Land Use Planning Waterfront Access Grants Clean Marina Program Coastal Reserve Program 10 Coastal Reserves Focus on research and education 4

5 Coastal Resources Commission Since 1974, establishes policies and rules under CAMA and the NC Dredge & Fill Act 13 members appointed by the Governor, Senate, House Designates Areas of Environmental Concern and related rules & policies Adopts land use planning guidelines and certifies CAMA land use plans 5

6 Science Panel on Coastal Hazards 10 coastal geologists & engineers Scientific input for CRC policy development: Calculating long-term beach erosion rates Establishing sediment criteria for beach nourishment Delineating Inlet Hazard Areas Monitoring and analysis of terminal groin effects Synthesizing information on sea level rise

7 Ocean Hazard Areas DCM jurisdiction includes: Ocean Erodible Area High Hazard Flood Areas Inlet Hazard Areas Unvegetated Beach Area Erosion rate-based setbacks based on size of structures Ban on permanent erosion control structures Rules governing beach and inlet projects

8 Coastal Storms Hurricanes of the 1990 s Bertha, Fran, Bonnie, Dennis, Floyd Hurricane Floyd (1999) 9-10 ft. storm surge & heavy rains >$6B economic losses Up to 11,000 homes destroyed Hurricane Isabel (2003) $3-5B economic losses 2000 wide inlet on Hatteras Island 8

9 DCM Responses to Irene and Sandy Assessed damage & assisted property owners w/ permit needs Implemented Emergency CAMA General Permit No fee, can be issued quickly for replacement of small structures Issued ~1,000 Emergency GPs, authorized 100 s of additional repairs Worked w/ NCDOT on NC-12 inlet breaches Worked w/ FEMA on siting of temporary trailers for storm victims

10 Beach Erosion: Chronic vs. Storms Chronic, long-term erosion caused by changes in sand supply and relative sea level Long-Term Average Erosion Rates (LTER) used to measure building setbacks 2/3 beach stations show long-term erosion Storm-induced erosion resulting from hurricanes, nor easters can be dramatic 10

11 Ocean Hazard Areas/Setbacks Graduated, erosion-based setbacks based on size of structures and local long-term erosion rates Min. Erosion = 2 ft/year < 5000 sf x K sf x K sf.. x K sf.. x K sf.. x K sf.. x Ksf.. x85 Over 100K.. x90 11

12 Increasing Beach Nourishment Nov Dec Number of Nourishment Projects Cubic Yards 80 40,000, ,000, ,000, ,000,000 20,000,000 Cubic Yards Dec ,000,000 10,000,000 5,000,000 Photos: Town of North Topsail Beach 's 1980's 1990's 2000's 2010's 1970's 1980's 1990's 2000's 2010's Linear (Cubic Yards)

13 Sandbag Use 283 sandbag structures on N.C. beaches / 7 miles Prior enforcement issues led to rule amendments 8-year time limit (if pursuing beach fill or other option) Removal of one-time-perproperty restriction

14 Inlet Hazard Areas Oscillating inlets tend to move back & forth accreting on one side, eroding on the other Migratory inlets tend to migrate in one direction less common

15 Inlet Relocation Shell Island Resort 1998 Photo Shell Island Resort 1998 inlet channel 2012 Photo (10 years after 2002 relocation) Mason Inlet Separates Wrightsville Beach & Figure Eight Island Project began in 2002 Maintained every 3-5 yrs

16 Terminal Groins Up to 4 terminal groins now allowed in NC inlets by S.L VBHI received first CAMA permit for a terminal groin construction beginning soon Figure 8 Island, Holden Beach & Ocean Isle Beach have expressed interest and are at different stages in permitting process

17 2015 CRC Beach and Inlet Priorities Complete Science Panel IHA Study State Port Inlet Management Areas Beneficial Use of Dredged Material Policy Alternatives to Beachfront Static Line Rule Extended dredging windows Emergency Beach Bulldozing / Sandbag Rules

18 Estuarine Shoreline Protection Living Shorelines use native materials and enhance habitat marsh plantings, oyster shells, minimal amounts of structural materials Maintain existing connections between upland, intertidal, estuarine, and aquatic areas Specific site conditions important living shorelines will not work at every site Riprap Marsh Sill

19 Student Training/ Workplace Skills Needed Experience in both science and policy/mgmt Writing, presentation, GIS, and data analysis are key skill sets Check out Sea Grant Knauss Fellowship, NOAA Coastal Fellowship programs

20 Questions? & join CAMAgram!

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