NewsChannel 3 takes action over damaged Ocean View sand dune

Posted at 2:40 PM, May 05, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-06 10:24:01-04

Norfolk, Va. (WTKR) - An Ocean View couple came to NewsChannel 3 for help after seeing a sand dune being damaged near their home.

Ray Allen and Kim Schafer were on their balcony Sunday afternoon when they saw a piece of machinery on the beach digging into the sand dune near Ocean View Avenue and Chesapeake Street.

"They were out there with a Bobcat cutting through the dunes I guess to make it easier to get their equipment out," Allen told NewsChannel 3's Todd Corillo.

"Last year they had taken some of it off, this year they are out there with the Bobcat digging the dune out level and I thought the dunes were protected," Schafer stated.

The dunes are protected in Norfolk under the Chesapeake Bay Coastal Management Area. NewsChannel 3 took action and contacted Lee Rosenberg, Environmental Services Manager for the City of Norfolk.

He came out and documented the dune and confirmed that the work, including digging through a sand dune on city property and disrupting vegetation planted to hold the dunes in place, was not allowed.

Rosenberg says that the property owners will receive notice that they must appear before the Norfolk Wetlands Board, which will decide what to do about the altered sand dune.

Schafer says her biggest concern has always been making sure the dunes are in place to protect her neighborhood from flooding.

"We are all possibly going to get water in our back yards this summer if a hurricane comes through," she said.

To learn more about Beach and Sand Dune Management in the City of Norfolk, click here to read the Chesapeake Bay Coastal Management Area (CBCMA) Guidance Document.