Village-Funded Beach Nourishment Project – The Village is making plans to complete a Village-funded beach nourishment project as soon as 2025. Historically, the Village has used Jay Bird Shoals as a borrow site for beach-quality sand. This borrow site has a limited quantity of sand so the Village has been working with its environmental consultant (Land Management Group) & Engineer (Olsen Associates, Inc.) to obtain permits to use Frying Pan Shoals as a borrow site. The permits for Frying Pan Shoals are not guaranteed and will take an extended period of time to obtain since permitting agencies seem to be waiting on a 4-year study on Frying Pan Shoals that is being conducted by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) and UNCW prior to issuing any permits. Accordingly, the Village is seeking to expand its borrow area at Jay Bird Shoals for the Village’s next project. A report on this effort can be found HERE.
Wilmington Harbor Sand Management Plan (WHSMP) – Historically, the Village of Bald Head Island, Caswell Beach, and Oak Island have received sand dredged from the navigation channel per the WHSMP. The last maintenance relative to this plan, in which Bald Head Island was the recipient of sand was winter 2020/2021. The next maintenance is expected to begin in November 2022.
Wilmington Harbor Navigation Improvement Project (WHNIP 203) – The N.C. State Ports Authority is paying for and planning, under Section 203 of the Water Resources Development Act (WRDA), for a project to deepen the Cape Fear River shipping channel by about five feet to an average depth of at least 47 feet. The Ports Authority indicated that the existing channel conditions cannot accommodate newer, larger container ships (the ships being built today are three times larger). The Village of Bald Head Island submitted comments (link to NC State Ports Authority Section 203 Comments) regarding the proposed project in October 2019. The Village is concerned that this project will cause significant erosion along the shoreline in South Beach much like what was experienced as a result of the most recent channel dredging and realignment.