Ocean Isle Beach earned national recognition Monday for improvements made since Hurricane Hugo's devastating blow in 1989.
The American Shore and Beach Preservation Association named Ocean Isle the 2008 Best Restored Beach.
Restoration is the process of replacing sand washed away by erosion to provide beachfront buildings and animal habitats with greater area and to give beach-goers a wider place to play.
“Since its inception, the Ocean Isle Beach restoration project has been distinguished by exceptional project performance and habitat restoration for endangered sea turtles and shorebirds. In addition it has provided storm protection and greatly increased recreational space," Mayor Debbie Smith said.
Across the country, more than 370 beaches have been restored.