Carolina Environmental Diversity Explorations
Small sand volume barrier islands · By Dirk Frankenberg
Figure 12 shows new dunes built to provide protection from the next storm’s overwash. The sand for this construction has been scraped off roads and overwash fans further back on the island. It has been cleaned of debris by passing it through a slatted steel chute, then trucked here where a bulldozer rearranged it into dunes. Millions of taxpayer dollars were spent after Hurricane Fran in 1996 to rebuild this type of dune along Topsail’s beach. That expenditure was lost when subsequent storms destroyed them. It is unlikely that the ones being constructed here will have a longer life span.
Note the view of beachfront breakers under the house on the right. That view should convince you that before the new dunes were built, the topography here was as flat as any we have seen on this tour of low sand volume islands.