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for Erosion--North Carolina, Coastal
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Winter storms and summer hurricanes are notorious is hurling erosive forces at the North Carolina coast. Many homes along the coast now stand vulnerable due to loss of dune protection and erosion rates that are increasing with sea level rise.
The beaches of the Outer Banks are constantly changing as the waves reshape the land. By the turn of the next century, Ocracoke Island may even be underwater due to such changes. However, the constant transformation of the landscape does not take away from the beauty of the land, nor North Carolinians’ affection for it.
High winds and tides had worn down the terrain, but human activities had played a great part in the erosion of sand dunes and beaches. Having some control over the latter spurred residents to plan ways to preserve the sandy shores of their island home. Among the efforts: prohibiting vehicles without four weight bearing wheels on beaches; increasing parking spaces to incite pedestrian beach access; and closing certain areas seasonally and year around.
The mysteries about the earth’s crust, Dr. Jesse McNinch believed could be solved by studying the landscape beneath the water’s surface. From that determination, a government research project was founded. The United States Army Corp studied natural phenomenon such as coastal erosions patterns and shifting shorelines, emerging in the movement of wind, waves, tides, and currents, through equipment such as CLARIS (Coastal Lidar and Radar Imaging System).