Dune Creation and Stabilization

(Ocean Hazard Area only)

Sand dunes provide a natural buffer against the erosive forces of wind, water and waves. Sometimes it's necessary to stabilize or strengthen existing sand dunes or build new ones to protect oceanfront buildings and roads. Dune establishment and stabilization projects must be thoughtfully planned and carried out to avoid damaging the beach and dune system. 

Dune creation and stabilization projects must meet the general rules for ocean hazard AECs as well as the following standards {15A NCAC 7H Section .0308(b)}:

Figure 4.11

  • Man-made dunes must be aligned with existing adjacent dune ridges and be of similar shape (see Figure 4.11).

  • Existing primary and frontal dunes may not be broadened or extended oceanward, except during beach nourishment projects or emergency situations authorized by the Division of Coastal Management.
  • Dune building must not damage existing vegetation. You must immediately replant or otherwise stabilize the dunes if vegetation is harmed.

  • Sand used to create dunes must be similar in quality and grain size to existing sand, so it will improve potential stability of the existing sand and build stable dunes and be compatible with the existing environment.

  • Dunes may not be created in inlet hazard areas.

  • Sand in any dune other than the frontal or primary dune may be redistributed within the AEC if it is not placed farther oceanward than the crest of the primary dune or landward of the toe of the frontal dune.