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Emerald Isle board OKs effort to get state money to dredge boating access channel

After numerous complaints from residents and visitors, Emerald Isle officials are proposing to dredge the channel to and from the state-owned boating access facility in Bogue Sound. The area to be dredged is in the box marked in green. (Emerald Isle map)

Posted on November 22, 2021

EMERALD ISLE — Emerald Isle commissioners voted 5-0 Nov. 9 to authorize town manager Matt Zapp to apply for state funds for a dredging project to improve the channel to and from a regional boating access facility on Bogue Sound.

The vote came during the board’s monthly meeting in town hall, also held virtually via GoToWebinar.

Mr. Zapp said he’ll now apply for the $90,000 for the project, which will remove 995 cubic yards of material from the channel, from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission launch basin to about channel marker 28. The water farther into the sound and out to the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway is still deep enough and won’t be dredged, according to the manager.

Mr. Zapp said he hopes to go out for bids from contractors soon. He believes the state will pay the full cost of the work, although Emerald Isle will have to provide $30,000 and wait for it to be reimbursed.

“The risk is low for us and return is high,” Mr. Zapp said.

Of the $90,000, $60,000 would come from a grant from the N.C. Shallow Draft Inlet and Aquatic Weed Fund, which receives revenue from boat motor fuel taxes.

Mr. Zapp said he has worked with the state and the Carteret County Shore Protection Office to develop the plan. A bucket dredge will load the dredged material onto a barge, which will take it to shore to be hauled away and disposed of at a permitted site.

The town says the work is necessary because chronic shoaling is creating a boat-and-trailer logjam as boaters encounter shallow water leaving and returning to the facility.

The launch includes four launching ramps and parking for 112 vehicle/ trailer combinations and a separate parking lot with 18 single-vehicle spaces. It is managed by the WRC and open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. There is no fee to use it.

Commissioner Mark Taylor made the motion to authorize the grant application.


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