Croatan Beach is three quarters of a mile long and stretches from Rudee Inlet to Camp Pendleton. With 2 designated surfing areas (one at the north beginning at Rudee Inlet and one at the south at Camp Pendleton), it has long been a favorite of local surfers. Lifeguard services are now available for swimmers and surfers alike, and are situated along the entire beach front. This expanded coverage is due in part through an ATV vehicle donated by the residents of Croatan.
Because of the popularity of the beach, the City now operates a 500+ car parking lot year round at Camp Pendleton. Some additional parking is available in the neighborhood, and is clearly marked. Due to the amount of traffic through the neighborhood in the summer, a traffic calming program is presently in place. Persons who violate the posted 25 mph speed limit are susceptible to $200 fines.
For the protection of swimmers, especially children, surfing is restricted to the surfing areas during certain hours in the summer season. Details on surfing regulations, parking and traffic concerns as well as local weather can be accessed by the links on the left.
History of the Croatan Shoreline
Public Works Water Resources Division has completed our latest product illustrating the history of the Croatan shoreline.
The first two graphs are from an analysis of 12 years of survey data establishing a documented baseline, performed by ODU – which covered our entire coastline, but has a chapter related to each distinct segment, including this one. The ODU survey looked at 12 years of historical data from 1980 to 1992. This provided evidence of a stabilized Croatan beach. The photos are both from Google and our library of historic overflights, using the top of the wetted beach as the assumed mean high water (m.h.w.) and digitally justified using the street grid and the south breakwater for scale (not scientific, but sufficient for testimony in Court). Then on chart 16 we plot those m.h.w. lines to determine consistency. It is this consistency that substantiates Croatan as stable to slightly accretional. ......The beach looks remarkably different today [July 17, 2014 ] than the end of June , the grooming had the desired effect: trash cans are back out, the beach face is firm and less steep, and there’s a sizable (and growing) beach ‘berm’ area behind it. ....,[The City of Virginia Beach's] contention is, if we could get a google shot today the platted line would be even further eastward than virtually all the historical plots. Our hope is the summer and fall is absent any tropical formations on the east coast allowing the sand to continue accreting.
Ladies and Gentlemen -- and especially the surfing community - please note:
To the immediate south of Croatan Beach, adjacent to the Municipal Parking Lot are two secure military bases - Camp Pendleton and the Dam Neck Amphibious Base. Both are patrolled by serious armed security officers. These officers prohibit unauthorized entry to the bases. THIS INCLUDES SURFING SOUTH OF THE MUNICIPAL PARKING LOT! Anyone found recreating south of the Croatan Beach is subject to arrest and prosecution by the City, State and Federal authorities.
In addition, a rifle range exists adjacent to the parking lot behind the fence. Often the range is in use with the direction of fire being towards the ocean. When firing is being done a red flag flies to warn all away from the range; and the lot is closed. For your own safety in such conditions, do not recreate south of Croatan Beach,............PLEASE!