Beach Renourishment in my Backyard

Well, I brought my work-in-progress down to my Topsail Island condo for some quality revision time. I knew the Topsail Beach beach renourishment project was in full swing, but I didn’t realize I’d have a front row seat for the show! It’s hard to get anything done when I’m riveted by what’s going on outside my sliding glass doors. I have mixed feelings about beach renourishment–the property owner in me loves it, the environmentalist in me is not so sure, but it’s happening regardless and I thought I’d share some pictures of my formerly (and soon to be again) pristine beach.

Above is the way our beach used to look. This is not high tide. At high tide, there was sometimes no place to walk, the water coming clear up to the dune.

Here is the way our beach looked upon my arrival yesterday!

I can’t give you the scientific explanation, but sand is being pumped from someplace in the intracoastal waterway and sent via underground pipes out to the beach.  In the picture above, we’re looking south, which has already been renourished. Here’s a another looking south at around high tide. You can clearly see the pipes coming out of the dune, which just blows my mind. Somehow they fed the pipes under the road and the dune. I’m glad I don’t have to figure out how to do this stuff. (I hope it’s my camera that was crooked and not the building in this picture…)

And here we are looking north around the same time. This is the part of the beach that’s waiting to be renourished. The bulge on the right side of the picture is the sand being pumped onto the beach.

Here’s a closeup of the sand blowing out of the pipe.

And guess what? These guys work all night long, too! (That means bulldozer noise and beep-beep-beeping all night long.) Here’s my night shot. It looks like another planet out there.

My neighbor and I just got back from dinner and we watched them work in the dark, trying to figure out the method to their madness. Sand here, sand there, pushing it around in what looks like a random pattern, but I’m sure they know what they’re doing. They have to be finished with all of Topsail Beach by April 20th, in time for turtle season. I can’t wait to see the finished product. Meanwhile, where are my earplugs??


  1. debbie hearne on March 21, 2011 at 7:12 am

    Oh my goodness!

  2. Emilie Richards on March 21, 2011 at 7:24 am

    Thanks for the update. I lived with beep–beep–beep for over a year while they build three houses across the street from me. Ear plugs are a good idea. Good luck. It does make creating a bit harder, that’s for sure.

  3. Ann on March 21, 2011 at 7:42 am

    Oh my gosh – we are headed to the northern end of Topsail Island in May. I hope that is not going on in front of the house we are renting!! Thanks goodness for turtle season.

  4. Margo on March 21, 2011 at 7:51 am

    My first reaction when I started reading was, ‘I sure hope Diane has earplugs!’
    Goodness, I’m not sure why all this is taking place except to reimburse sand that has been lost due to weather and things?…at any rate, it will be nice when it’s done and the turtles will have a nice place for their season.
    Diane, I think your beach condo is the perfect place to getaway and write…even tho there’s quite a bit of activity outside your windows, I have faith that your creative juices will still be flowing and it will be a successful writing week for you. (-O:

  5. Diane Chamberlain on March 21, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    Emilie, that must have been torture! Ann, It’s just Topsail Beach (as opposed to the other parts of the island, so you’re safe for now!) Margo, I came home a little while ago, not because of the activity but because I really need to do revisions on my desktop and was finding the laptop not up to speed. But I’m glad I went. It was very entertaining!

  6. Margo on March 22, 2011 at 8:35 am

    Darn…I quess it wasn’t meant to be Diane…I had you pictured all week in front of your glass windows working away as the tides rolled in…listening to the crashing waves and the seagulls…lol, I’m sure you were not able to hear anything but the construction.

  7. […] of course, but what a place to work! The beach is now wide and beautiful. (Here’s my blog post made during the renourishment). The change is […]

  8. Mary on June 9, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    WOW…that is all I can say. When we stayed at your place one of the neighbors told me that the beach was renourished. He said that they piped from the intracostal waterway but your pictures gave me a total different picture of piped. I was totally amazed. There were thousands of shells and at first we did not know what happened since our stay last year. Thanks for sharing the pictures.

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