The Anatomy of a Beach Dredge

On just our third day of vacation we were treated to a beach pre-dredge (the technical term).  It turns out that Hatteras Island, in conjunction with the federal government, is working to increase the beaches.  Not only will they be built up 5-6 feet, but the will extend an additional 300 feet beyond the current shoreline.

The pre-dredge phase is done in three parts.  The first is by boat.  The boat measures the depths further out beyond the sandbars.

Next comes the CRAB machine.  There are only 4 drivers in the world licensed to operate these machines, according to one of the workers I spoke with; it is a union position.  The CRAB machine measures the depths along the sandbars.

Lastly, comes a worker with a hand held measuring instrument.  He measures the depths of the troughs.

Once this work is done, they will start pumping in the sand.  According to the worker I spoke with, they will set up tubes that look like sewer lines and pump sand from a borrowed spot offshore.  This should start happening later this week.

Posted in: OBX

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