Croatan residents want Virginia Beach officials to do something about beach erosion

Posted at 9:04 PM, Apr 07, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-07 21:04:10-04

Virginia Beach, Va. - Located just south of the main Virginia Beach resort area, Croatan is a popular beach.  But residents say they're dealing with a big problem - the beach is shrinking.

"We've had some problems with beach erosion," said Ken Jobe, a Croatan resident.

Jobe has lived in the area for about 20 years.  He says the beach is so narrow now, it's tough for people to enjoy it.  Residents also worry about what would happen if a major storm hits.

There's been some conflict with the city over what needs to be done to fix it.

Jobe says it looks like things are starting to move in the right direction.  A project is planned for late April to haul sand from the trap at the north of the beach and place it along the foot of the dunes.

City officials also say the beach will benefit from the current sand replenishment project at Dam Neck, to the south of Croatan.

"There should be some sand that will continue to migrate from Dam Neck up to Croatan Beach," said Mark Johnson, operations engineer with the city of Virginia Beach.

Jobe says he's glad to see the city taking action, but there is still debate about what should be done long-term.

Some residents want to see major changes to widen the beach.  That would potentially require the jetties and other things to move.

City officials say it could cost around $20 million.

"Right now we don't feel that's a requirement, but with new the development and encroaching sea level rise and of course storm intensity, then we've got to look at that," said Deputy City Manager Dave Hansen.

They're recommending a study be done in 2017.

Jobe says he'd like to see things move faster, with the study starting in the fall and wrapping up by the spring of 2016.

He and other residents planned to raise those concerns at Tuesday's city council meeting.