A controversial beach renourishment project is closer to getting underway in Nags Head on the Outer Banks. Town officials are lining up financing and preparing a contract for a company to perform the work. They say pumping dredged sand onto beaches suffering from erosion is a good way to protect the area's valuable shoreline. Nags Head Town Manager Cliff Ogburn says if it goes forward, the additional sand could preserve the beach front for up to a decade:
" What we're trying to do is protect our economy and our infrastructure and this sand that's placed on the beach is there as a way of insuring that all that'll stay in place. Some may say that that sand in ten years time is supposed to wash away, but its that sand that washes away and not continuing to eat at our coastline."
Ray Midgett is an Outer Banks native and long time opponent of renourishment.
"We've got a lawsuit that's been filed by about 40 residents that are opposing the condemnation for easements on their oceanfront properties and then in addition to that, they still haven't obtained over 300 other easements on the beach out of about a thousand that they needed."
Midgett says the project is too expensive. He also doubts it can get done as scheduled. Midgett says the approaching hurricane season and busy tourist time will make it hard for the work to get done by the fall as contracted.