Terminal groins cause erosion

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By Staff Brunswick Beacon

To the editor: In response to the "groin" article by staff writer Kathryn Jacewicz in July 30 issue.

The N.C. legislature unanimously banned the construction of new, permanent groin structures from North Carolina’s ocean shorelines and inlets in 2003, reinforcing a 24-year-old coastal management policy disallowing the permitting of jetty and groin construction.

Any coastal structure designed to trap sand in one location will, unequivocally, deprive another area of that sand and thus places “down drift” property, beaches and inlets, at risk.

A groin at the east end of Ocean Isle Beach will deprive sand from beaches one-half mile west of Shallotte Inlet, including the central and west end of OIB and all of Sunset Beach. Those collective property owners would file lawsuits against the town of OIB.

A letter signed by 43 of the country’s top coastal scientists states: “There is no debate. A structure placed at the terminus of a barrier island, near an inlet, will interrupt the natural sand movement system, deprive the ebb and flood tide deltas of sand and cause negative impacts to adjacent islands.”

Proponents of S832 point to the terminal groins at Bogue and Oregon Inlets as successes; however, these “groins” have caused massive erosion to beaches down drift of both structures requiring, to date, 20 million cubic yards of sand at a cost of $43 million of public money to rebuild the starved beaches.

Federal and state governments can no longer afford to use public money to rebuild beaches from the erosion caused by groins.