The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Coastal Management (DCM) Coastal Reserve today announced the reopening of the Currituck Banks Reserve parking lot, boardwalk and trail. The Reserve was temporarily closed in Oct. 2022 for repairs.
The Currituck Banks Reserve project included replacing aging decking boards, seat boards, railings, and side guards of the existing boardwalk. The structural components of the boardwalk were replaced as needed. All work took place within the current footprint of the existing boardwalk. These replacements were identified as a facility need in the N.C. National Estuarine Research Reserve’s 2020-2025 Management Plan.
“The funds provided by DCM’s Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program to replace and repair key areas within the Currituck Banks Reserve serve as an investment in safe infrastructure and visitor experiences,” said Braxton Davis, Division Director.
The N.C. Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve received more than $122,000 in funding for repairs to the Currituck Banks Reserve boardwalk from the N.C. Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Grant Program during the 2020-21 grant cycle and was one of twelve projects that received funding. The N. C. Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program is a grant program administered by the Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Coastal Management that funds land acquisition, site improvements, and amenities for public access to coastal waters.
“The work to replace the 20-year-old decking boards, railings, and benches will allow users to safely access the Currituck Banks Reserve for years to come,” said Erik Alnes, DCM Coastal Reserve Northern Sites Manager. “Wooden benches were replaced with composite benches, providing a safer alternative for visitors to sit and observe.”
The Currituck Banks Reserve is one of 10 sites in the N.C. Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve, protected for research, education and compatible traditional uses. The boardwalk at the Currituck Banks Reserve was constructed in 2002 and provides access for walking, photography, and nature observation. The boardwalk winds through maritime forest and swamp before ending at a deck offering views of the Currituck Sound, and also provides access to the trailhead of the Maritime Forest Trail at the site.
The North Carolina Division of Coastal Management, a division of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, works to protect, conserve and manage North Carolina’s coastal resources in the 20 coastal counties. The N.C. Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve Program protects natural areas for education, research, and compatible traditional uses. Since its creation in 1989, the program has preserved more than 44,000 acres of unique coastal environments at 10 sites along the coast.