- Special Sections
- Public Notices
To the editor: According to the Brunswick County tax assessor’s office, the N.C. Ports Authority owns 594 acres of land on the Lower Cape Fear River next to the city of Southport that is intended for use as an international port container terminal.
Of those 594 acres, 348 acres are treated by the tax assessor as marsh.
The N.C. Ports Authority consultants’ report has figures on required space for container terminals based on other existing and planned terminals.
They have used a rule of thumb of 6,000 TEU per storage acre (TEU = one 20-foot container). The proposed port would handle 3,000,000 TEUs, which would require at least 500 acres just for storage.
And this doesn’t count the terminal itself!
A similarly automated terminal, APMT in Portsmouth, Va., has 575 acres for a planned capacity of 2,500,000 TEU, of which 460 acres is planned for storage. The terminals at Charleston, S.C., including the Navy Yard, will have 675 acres with 540 acres for storage. Based on these numbers, it appears the N.C. Ports Authority would need about 120 acres for the terminal.
So the Ports Authority really needs 620 acres—all of the 594 acres and then some for a terminal of 3,000,000 TEU. If they don’t fill and pave over the marsh, the Ports Authority actually has about 250 acres.
To get the necessary space they need, they would have to acquire another 25 acres, fill the marsh and pave over everything.
We all witnessed what happened to New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina—the wetlands had been paved and built on and therefore, between that and the water “super highway” created by the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet (MRGO), the city of New Orleans and outlying areas were severely flooded.
The N.C. Ports Authority’s plan will invite the same sort of event here. Destruction of wetlands, dredging for a new water “super highway” leading directly to the city of Southport and the proposed port, and essentially paving over areas that help control and contain storm water run-off encourages total devastation of the Lower Cape Fear River area.
As Richard Feynman, Nobel Prize winner in physics said, “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.”
Join NO PORT Southport to fight this ill-conceived project. Our very lives may be at stake and we all need to get involved.
Go to noportsouthport.org or call 457-7674 for more information.