Bald Head Island, N.C. – Shoreline Management Program


Location: Brunswick County, N.C.

Client: Village of Bald Head Island

Tasks: Assist Legal Counsel in the facilitation of federal navigation project mitigation; design, permit and manage the construction of interim shore stabilization measures including large scale beach fill, groins, and various sand bypass measures. Additional work has included over 10 years of monitoring and the formulation of a Delft 3D numerical model intended to evaluate both modern and historical inlet improvement effects on Bald Head Island.


Olsen Associates, Inc. (OAI) initiated the first in-depth analyses of Bald Head Island’s erosion causes – natural and manmade – in 1989.  Prior to the last deepening of the abutting federal navigation project channel in 2000, OAI initiated a long term monitoring program designed to quantify both inlet impacts and potential beneficial effects of project related beach disposal.  The latter has been implemented in conformance with the Wilmington Harbor Sand Management Plan (WHSMP).  Simplistically, the Plan was formulated as a means to address the Village’s concerns and formal objections pursuant to the State Permits and CZMP Consistency Determination necessary for the Wilmington District, USACOE to expand and reconfigure the ocean entrance channel segment of the navigation project.  In order to compensate for continuing historical erosional effects at Bald Head Island, OAI has designed and managed the replacement of a 16 structure sand tube groinfield (2005, 2010) as well as designed and permitted a 1.85M cy beach fill in the winter of 09/10.  The firm continues to provide annual islandwide monitoring and support ongoing legal actions necessary to modify the WHSMP and seek potential remedial actions by the USACOE.  To facilitate this effort, the firm has developed a Delft 3D numerical model for the Cape Fear River Entrance and abutting coastal barrier shorelines (2010-2011).

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