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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Coastal Management - Beach Walkways

Coastal Management

Beach Walkways

(Also see Oceanfront Construction)

Beach walkways make it easier to get to the beach without damaging dunes, which play a vital role in maintaining the structure and safety of North Carolina's barrier islands and beaches, and helping to protect property from flooding and erosion. A CAMA permit is required to construct a beach walkway.  Beach walkways are not subject to CAMA oceanfront setback requirements.

To ensure that the dune system is not damaged when a walkway is built, you must follow the following guidelines in addition to the general use standards for the ocean hazard AEC {15A NCAC 7H .0308}:

Figure 4.2

    • Walkways must be for pedestrian use only.

    • Walkways must be no wider than 6 feet.

    • Walkways wider than 6 feet or not for pedestrian use may be permitted if they meet a public need that cannot be met in other ways.(Note: This standard does not apply to public fishing piers if they meet all other applicable standards.)

    • Walkways should be elevated to allow dunes to adjust naturally to wind and wave forces, maintaining the stability of the protective dune system. Walkways must be on posts or pilings embedded to a depth of 5 feet or less, so that when possible, only the posts – not the walkway itself – touch the frontal dune. Walkways may touch the dune only to the extent necessary.

    • Walkways won't be allowed if they weaken the dune's protection against flooding and erosion (see Figure 4.2, above).

    • Any vegetation disturbed in the construction of a walkway must be replanted as quickly as possible.

    • Walkways are not eligible for sandbag protection.

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