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Terminal groin project could be started here

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

In a close vote last week, the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) voted 8-5 to recommend to the state General Assembly that the use of terminal groins could be feasible when used in conjunction with beach renourishment.

That’s a step in the right direction for officials who have been pushing for terminal groins, like Ocean Isle Beach Mayor Debbie Smith.

Now, the decision about whether terminal groins will become a possibility goes to the General Assembly.

We would support the adoption of a pilot program for terminal groin usage right here in Brunswick County.

In Ocean Isle Beach, loss of beach is no longer about people who may have built their homes too close to the waterfront. Houses that were once three streets away from the shore are now oceanfront properties. More could follow. Beach access, a vital part of quality of life here and a contributor to our successful tourism industry are affected by loss of beach.

The CRC report indicates without implementation of a terminal groin, the potential loss in economic value during the next 30 years is around $27 million in Ocean Isle Beach.

What’s in place now—the use of sandbags—is not working and is not a long-term solution.

More must be done. We believe taking on terminal groin usage should be a well-thought out, well-planned venture. It’s one that must undergo constant monitoring and evaluation. It must also include an environmental impact study, one that ensures our precious beach and ocean resources are not lost or damaged.

Ocean Isle Beach officials have practically been begging to be a part of this process, why not give them such an opportunity now?

The use of terminal groins could save homes, save beaches and protect tourism revenue. If it’s done in a way that also preserves and protects the environment, we see no reason why it wouldn’t make sense to start a pilot or monitoring program for terminal groins right here in Brunswick County.

The longer it takes for a decision to be made the more damage is done.

The General Assembly should quickly act to find a permanent, viable solution to saving our beaches and protect the environment. Elected officials have the opportunity to make decisions now that could save beaches and properties that may sometime soon be lost and never recoverable.

Let your elected officials know what you think about the use of terminal groins on North Carolina beaches. Write or call your representatives:

Rep. Frank Iler, NC House of Representatives, 300 N. Salisbury Street, Room 306A2, Raleigh, NC 27603-5925, (919) 301-1450, frank.iler@ncleg.net.

Rep. Dewey Hill, NC House of Representatives, 16 W. Jones Street, Room 1309 , Raleigh, NC 27601-1096, (919) 733-5830, dewey.hill@ncleg.net.

Sen. R.C. Soles Jr., NC Senate, 16 W. Jones Street, Room 2022 , Raleigh, NC 27601-2808, (919) 733-5963, rc.soles@ncleg.net.