The beach at the north end of Ocracoke in previous years has been a few hundred yards wide. This photo from July shows how much of it has eroded. Photo: C. Leinbach

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The National Park Service ((NPS) is seeking public input on sediment management at the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

The virtual public meetings this week on this issue are as follows:

The purpose of the environmental impact statement (EIS) is to develop a streamlined framework for implementing sediment management at the Seashore, including the method, location, and frequency for sediment management actions that may be permitted over the next 20 years.

The Seashore has received various requests and anticipates future requests to issue special use permits for protecting roads, bridges, electrical transmission facilities, and other public transportation facilities; repairing island damages, including breaches that also affect transportation; and restoring habitat through the placement of dredged materials along eroded sections of barrier islands.

A sediment management framework is needed to assist the Seashore in addressing this request and others, while avoiding and minimizing impacts that may be associated with such actions conducted by NPS and other agencies to mitigate shoreline erosion.

The framework is needed to limit impacts to the Seashore and provide timely response for localized beach nourishment efforts in the face of increased storm events and projected sea-level rise. Similarly, sediment management strategies may be used for specific habitat restoration projects.
As part of the EIS process, the NPS looks forward to collaborating with several cooperating agencies, including: the Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Dare County, the Fish and Wildlife Service, Hyde County, the North Carolina Department of Transportation and the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.
“Due to the dynamic nature of the Seashore’s beaches, our partners are likely to continue to request permits for beach nourishment and similar projects that help to maintain and restore important transportation routes for the community, emergency response, and visitor access,” said National Parks of Eastern North Carolina Superintendent David Hallac. “We look forward to a collaborative process with our stakeholders as we work to develop and describe conditions that protect Seashore resources over the long-term.”
The publication April 10 of the Notice of Intention to Make a Proposal (NOI) in the Federal Register initiates the formal National Environmental Policy Act process and begins a 30-day public scoping period. As part of the public scoping process, the NPS will host four virtual meetings via webinar.

All are invited to attend these meetings to learn more about the scope, issues and alternatives, ask NPS representatives questions, and provide comments.
For additional information on the EIS process, please see the attached Public Scoping Newsletter or visit
Comments are to be submitted electronically at, the preferred method, or mailed to Superintendent, Cape Hatteras National Seashore, 1401 National Park Drive, Manteo, NC 27954. Deadline to submit comments is May 10.

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