A Sand Dune Pushing Update for the Town of Oak Island

Following the impacts of Hurricane Isaias in August 2020, the dunes on Oak Island are in a state of repair.  An immediate rebuilding effort, involving the pushing of sand with bulldozers was completed in early October.  While this helped provide immediate protection, there are still more long-term efforts underway.

Current Status

Sifting Project: If you drive along the beach, you’ll probably notice large piles of sand stored in the beach access lots and crossover streets. Because the sand is mixed with storm debris, it must first be sifted and cleaned before it can be returned to the beach.

During their October meeting, the Town Council authorized staff to work with contracted engineers on a Sand Sifting & Redistribution project. Because this project cannot legally start until after the Sea Turtle Nesting Season officially ends, this project is expected to begin by mid-November, 2020.

The project is projected to cover areas including Middleton Avenue to approximately 30th Place West based on the current estimated volume of the endeavor.

Following sand sifting, the town will begin its beach nourishment project which is set to begin in January. This phase of the project will cover sections of the beach from SE 63rd Street to Middleton Avenue.

How will this work, and how long will it take? Once started, town residents and visitors will notice large machinery working on the sand piles, that acts as a much larger version of a household kitchen sifter. Once cleaned of debris, the sand will be loaded onto trucks and redistributed along the beach. The entire process should be completed by early spring of 2021.

Beach Access: Some beach access points remain closed because of ongoing repair projects to town infrastructure and the Sand Sifting & Redistribution.

*Please note, the Town of Caswell Beach and its beaches are not effected by this ongoing project*

Where Can I Safely and Legally Access the Beach?

The Town of Oak Island has many beach accesses that are now open to the public. Please use these accesses when going to the beach to help protect our beautiful island.

Guests may have to travel longer distances than normal to safely and legally access the beach even if they are occupying an oceanfront property.

Seven to eight public beach accesses still remain closed to public use as of October 29, 2020. The Town of Oak Island has plans in place to have all of the public beach accesses open again in two to three weeks with parking still limited in some areas.

Town of Oak Island Public Beach Accesses
East Beach West Beach
Access Parking? Access Parking?
McGlamery St. Access Yes Middleton Access Yes
Sellers St. Access Yes 2nd W Access Yes
Mercer St. Access Yes 5th W Access No
Norton St. Access Yes 7th W Access No
Trott St. Access Yes 10th W Access Limited
Keziah St. Access Yes 13th W Access No
Yaupon Pier Access Yes 17th W Access No
Barbee Blvd. Access Yes 20th W Access Yes
Sherrill St. Access Yes 25th W Access Yes
Crowell St. Access Yes 30th W Access Yes
79th SE Access Yes 33rd W Access Yes
78th SE Access Yes 36th W Access Yes
77th SE Access Yes 39th W Access Yes
76th SE Access Yes 42nd W Access Yes
75th SE Access Yes 48th W Access Yes
74th SE Access Yes 51st W Access Yes
73rd SE Access Yes 54th W Access Yes
72nd SE Access Yes 57th W Access Yes
71st SE Access Yes 60th W Access No
70th SE Access Yes
69th SE Access Yes
67th SE Access Yes
64th SE Access Yes
63rd SE Access Yes
58th SE Access Yes
52nd SE Access Yes
49th SE Access Yes
46th SE Access Yes
43rd SE Access Yes
40th SE Access Yes
37th SE Access Yes
35th SE Access No
32nd SE Access Yes
29th  SE Access No
26th  SE Access Yes
25th  SE Access Yes
22nd SE Access Yes
19th SE Access Yes
16th SE Access Yes
14th SE Access Yes
11th SE Access Yes
9th SE Access Yes
6th SE Access Yes
3rd SE Access Yes

Why Dunes Are Important and What Should I Do?

Long term protection of the dunes is important not only to the health of our beaches, but to the town as a whole. To help ensure that the residents, visitors, homes and businesses of our town have a stable and reliable beachfront, please be mindful of the following:

  • Do not walk on the dunes (this includes walking over dunes to access to the beach)
  • Do not dig in or around the dunes
  • Do not cut walkways or paths through the dunes
  • Do not leave trash on the beach
  • Remove all gear from the beach by 8:30 p.m. each day

Town Enforcement:  Dune protection is provided under section 14 of the Town Code of Ordinances. The Oak Island Police Department is empowered to enforce the ordinance through civil citations of up to $500.

Visitors should know that Oak Island police do enforce this ordinance when and wherever violations are observed.

Stay Up To Date

Follow along with the most up-to-date information on the Town of Oak Island’s website and Facebook page.