Here’s why the sand at Buckroe Beach is darker and littered

Sand on Buckroe Beach is considerably darker after dredged sand from Indian Creek was used to replenish it. (WYDaily/Courtesy City of Hampton)

Hampton’s Public Works Department saved taxpayers more than $100,000 by replenishing Buckroe Beach with dredged sand from Indian Creek…but not all were impressed.

Not long after the sand was down, residents took to social media rallying cleanup teams for the littered and “considerably darker” sand, and what Christine Ausink, a project assistant for the Hampton Clean City Commission, said was not out of the ordinary.

“When the erosion and the silt from over the years, and whatever else is draining from off the roads, it all comes down and settles at the bottom of a body of water,” she said.

Including the trash, that Ausink said was most likely “stirred up” and uncovered as sand was removed from the bottom of the creek.

And while organizing cleanup events is a routine part of Ausink’s job at the commission, she won’t be tackling Buckroe’s new sand anytime soon as city officials said in a recent news release the company contracted for the dredging project is also in charge of sifting and cleaning the sand before spreading it onto the beach.

“However, there was a period over the weekend and early Monday when residents noticed the debris in the sand and became concerned, not knowing that part of the process,” officials said in a recent news release.

The city’s stormwater team has been working on the project in the Wythe neighborhood to reduce flooding at Indian Creek by dredging, officials said. Rather than throwing the dredged sand away, the team is using it to replenish Buckroe Beach.

As for the darker color, officials said “it will naturally lighten over the next several weeks.”

Once the project is finished and public works has cleared the area, Ausink said Hampton Clean City Commission will host routine clean-up events at Buckroe like they do year round.

Their next large waterways cleanup events are scheduled throughout April, or what Ausink said the organization calls “Earth Month.”

Sign up to be on the cleanup teams by emailing HCCC@Hampton.gov or stay in touch on social media by clicking here. 

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