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BOEM to Provide Sand for Popular Outer Banks Beaches

NORTH CAROLINA— As part of its efforts to defend local economies and protect coastal communities and habitats from the impacts of climate change, the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) has executed an agreement with Dare County, North Carolina, by granting the county access to up to 6.6 million cubic yards of sand from the Outer Continental Shelf to restore 11.6 miles of beaches. The project, contracted for 2022, is part of Dare County’s long-term shoreline management program to sustain and protect famous Atlantic Coast beaches in the towns of Duck, Southern Shores, Kitty Hawk, and Kill Devil Hills. All cities are located on a narrow strip of barrier islands known as the Outer Banks. The project is designed to protect local infrastructure and property, restore the beaches, and prepare for a more rapid recovery from storms.

Beaches on the Outer Banks help drive the economy in Dare County, where the year-round population of 37,000 swells to 225,000 to 300,000 at times during summer months. In addition, tourism, and outdoor recreation account for $1.4 billion in direct spending in Dare County. BOEM has exclusive authority to bring Outer Continental Shelf sand resources for shoreline resilience and beach or wetland restoration projects undertaken by federal, state, or local governments. BOEM uses the findings of more than 30 years of scientific research to inform its leasing decisions.

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