Topsail Beach wins national award for beach restoration is your source for free news and information in the Wilmington area.

Topsail Beach. Photo courtesy of Pender County Tourism.
Topsail Beach. Photo courtesy of Pender County Tourism.

The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association has recognized an area beach as one of the best restored shorelines in the country.

Topsail Beach was named a Best Restored Beach for 2016, one of just five nationwide to receive the annual award.

“It’s an honor for Topsail Beach,” Town Manager Michael Rose said. “It provides a really positive area for people to visit.”

According to Rose, the award was given on work done in the last couple of years, when a simultaneous project – the dredging of a nearby inlet – provided sand for beach nourishment.

“We were really able to do a tremendous amount of benefit on both ends,” Rose said.

In a news release about the award, the town said Chris Gibson of TI Coastal was the engineering contractor and key contributor to the beach nourishment work.

“This is a benchmark project,” Gibson, who worked with the town for more than four years, said in the release.

One million cubic yards of sand were put on the shore in a 2010-2011 nourishment project, according to the release. Rose said the latest cycle was not that big, but it was enough to satisfy town officials for the next few years.

“Our hope is that we won’t have to do it again for another four or five years,” said Rose, who said that the town does not have a set nourishment cycle like beach towns in New Hanover County do (Wrightsville Beach gets sand every four years, while Carolina and Kure Beaches get restored every three years.)

The town of Topsail Beach was able to use state dollars to help fund their coastal storm damage reduction project, as inlet dredging is usually paid for by the state government. By piggybacking off that project, they were able to save some of the money they have from a resident taxpayer-funded reservoir set aside for such events.

Rose said there are two main benefits from the project.

“Now as our beach is renourished, even at high tide there’s plenty of beautiful beach to sit on and enjoy,” Rose said. “It also slows down beach erosion, so it protects property. A good example is [last fall’s] Hurricane Joaquin, when our town recorded zero property damage thanks to our shore protection.”

Rose said the town is honored to be one of just a handful across the country to be recognized for its hard work.

“A lot of this was really a strong cooperative effort between officials, contractors, engineers and residents,” Rose said. “It shows everyone’s hard work on the program.”