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Public input sought for Terminal Groin project

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By Rachel Johnson, Staff Writer

OCEAN ISLE BEACH—Town officials and the Wilmington District Corps of Engineers Regulatory Division are seeking public input for the town’s proposed East End Shoreline Protection Project (terminal groin).

“This is the first of the public meetings that we will have through this process,” Mayor Debbie Smith said.

As a part of the Army Corps of Engineers environmental impact study, the Corps will conduct a public information meeting. According to Smith the goal is for the Corps to explain the process of going through the environmental impact study and to get public input. Attendees will have an opportunity to speak with the Corps engineer and ask questions.

The meeting will be at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 3, at Ocean Isle Beach Town Hall.

The environmental impact study is projected to take between 18 months and three years to complete.

Smith said the meeting would not offer the specifics of a terminal groin project. The environmental impact study is designed to take into consideration all possible solutions to the problem.

“The purpose of the EIS is to ask is this the right thing to do? Will it accomplish what we are trying to do?” Smith asked. “It will look at all options not just a terminal groin. It will look at beach renourishment and whether we should consider relocating the inlet. All the options will be examined before the final decision is made to put in a terminal groin. It is not definite a terminal groin will happen.”

 

The project

In April, Coastal Planning and Engineering of Wilmington completed a feasibility study. The study found a terminal groin could cost the town between $4 million and $7 million.

“A terminal groin will slow the rate of erosion by reducing the influence of the Shallotte Inlet on sediment transport,” said Ken Wilson, CP&E engineer.

The study presents two possible terminal groin options. One is 500 feet and the other is 700 feet. The actual length of the terminal groin is longer with the shore-anchored portion included. The shoreline portion will be mostly buried under the sand to the current edge of the vegetation area.

“The goal is to restore the shoreline and stabilize the island,” Wilson said.

Projected construction costs for the 500-foot terminal groin are between $2 million and $2.5 million with filling fees in the same range for a total of $4-$6 million.

The 700-foot terminal groin is projected to cost between $2.5-3.5 million to construct and between $3.5 million and $4 million to fill for a total between $6-7 million. Additional permitting for a terminal groin can cost an estimated $688,000 to $970,000.

There have been five homes lost on the east end of the island since 2005 with four east of Shallotte Boulevard and one west of it. The federal renourishment project doesn’t include anything east of Shallotte Boulevard.

The Oct. 3 meeting is the first in what town officials anticipate will be many public input sessions. Questions regarding the upcoming meeting and the Corps’ review of the project can be addressed to Emily Hughes at (910) 251-4635, Corps Regulatory Division Office, in Wilmington. Questions on a local level can be directed to town hall at 579-2166.

 

Rachel Johnsonis a staff writer at The Brunswick Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or rjohnson@brunswickbeacon.com. Follow her on Facebook at Rachel Johnson Brunswick Beacon.