Attention: Oceanfront Property Owners

In recent years, the amount of sand fencing along the coast has grown significantly as property owners have sought to protect their homes from storms and long-term beach erosion. As such, sand fencing – some of which is improperly installed or neglected – now line the town’s beach.

When properly installed, sand fences help in building dunes by trapping wind-blown sand. But if installed improperly, they can impede public access to the beach, cause a safety hazard and can trap or endanger sea turtles, their nests or hatchlings.

Because improper sand fencing can pose a threat to sea turtles, and contribute to unsafe debris scattered along the beach and ocean, the state Coastal Resources Commission – Division of Coastal Management/CAMA have regulations and guidelines for the installation and maintenance of sand fencing.

(d) Non-functioning, damaged, or unsecured sand fencing shall be immediately removed by the property owner.

The Coastal Resources Commission has defined certain types of minor maintenance and improvement work that do not require a CAMA permit. However, you must receive an “Exemption Certificate” before you perform this work {15A NCAC 7K}.

How to Apply for an Exemption
Sand fences that are installed and maintained in accordance with the following criteria are exempt from CAMA permit requirements. To receive an Exemption Certificate, contact the Town of Southern Shores, Local Permitting Officers at 252-261-2394 – option 3 and/or provide in writing your name, address and proposed scope of work. There currently is no fee for this type of exemption.

Please see the guidelines and exemption criteria for the installation of sand fencing (Link below).

Coastal Development Rules are available on the website for North Carolina Environmental Quality


Sand Fencing Graphics –

Sand Fencing Rules