Carteret County was awarded a $650,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Defense National Defense Community Infrastructure Program to partially fund shoreline and infrastructure protection measures on Radio Island. The restoration project involves dredging 35,360 cubic yards of material from East Taylors Creek and placing it along approximately 2,775 linear feet of Radio Island. The shoreline has experienced significant erosion due to frequent storms.
“Over time, and with Hurricane Dorian, that wave action that occurred here and the high tides that we saw really just washed that beach away,” said Gene Foxworth, Assistant County manager for Carteret County.
According to a news release, the project supports Joint Expeditionary Base, Little Creek-Fort Story, which is the major operating base for the Amphibious Forces in the Navy's Atlantic Fleet. Radio Island is used as an amphibious embarkation and debarkation area for U.S. Marine Corp units at Camp Lejeune. Foxworth said Marine Road, which runs adjacent to the shoreline, has severely deteriorated.
“Recent storms had eroded that bank and had undermined some of that Marine Road that they use for those amphibious craft at the end of Radio Island.”
The North Carolina Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Aquatic Weed Fund Grant awarded $1.3 million to support the project earlier this year. The total cost of the project is $1.95 million. The work is slated to begin in late winter and should be complete in April 2022. Once finshed, Foxworth said the shoreline restoration will protect Radio Island from further damage while improving beach access for residents and tourists.
“The public that uses Radio Island beach will have a nicer more broad beach to enjoy as well as supporting the Marine Corps and the Department of Navy in trying to maintain the operations they have there. Of course, that’s of critical importance to the County, as well.”