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.