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Holden Beach seeks Miss Katie for inlet dredging

The Miss Katie dredge was used last fall to clear out the Lockwood Folly Inlet. She was spotted off the beach strand depositing sand and underneath the bridge when collecting sand.

Posted on April 22, 2024

The Town of Holden Beach is seeking a state grant to help fund the dredging of the Lockwood Folly Inlet before tourist season arrives.

During the Holden Beach Board of Commissioners’ April 12 special meeting, the board passed a resolution requesting state grant funding and a budget amendment for a Lockwood Folly Inlet dredging project.

The project, if completed, will use the town’s Shallow Draft Permit and the Miss Katie dredge from Dare County and the Oregon Inlet Taskforce.

The inlet was dredged using the Miss Katie last year due to the inlet’s emergency status. Whether this project will come to fruition is murky water, Town Manager David Hewett said.

Assistant Town Manager Christy Ferguson said the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is ultimately responsible for dredging the inlet and plans to conduct a sidecast dredge operation in May using a dredge named the Merritt.

Ferguson told the board that the town has requested the inlet be on a quarterly cycle for dredging. However, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have other projects and limited funding that affect when, or if, they can dredge the inlet before tourist seasons, she said.

“There are a lot of obstacles in our way,” Ferguson said.

The town must obtain permission from the Oregon Inlet Taskforce for the group to release the Miss Katie dredge, she said, noting the next task force meeting is not until May.

The resolution requests $656,625 in state funding for the project. The estimated cost for the project is $875,500. The remaining balance of $218,875 would be paid for by the town and Brunswick County.

“We can’t move forward without a grant because we don’t have the funds to do that… If we did not get the grant, we would not follow through with contracting,” Ferguson said.

The grant process takes about 30 days and the town’s permit has environmental windows that are closing, she explained.

The Miss Katie is the only tool available to the town under these circumstances, Hewett said. He noted it would be helpful to revise the town’s permit to allow year-round dredging to improve future inlet dredging situations.

“The [Army Corps of Engineers] gets to do it anytime but our permit has an environmental window,” Hewett said, noting the town has not nailed down details on a permit revision but may pursue a budget request for the revision next year.

The town manager said he is not sure if the project will come to fruition. “It’s not a done deal. There’s still a bunch of work that’s got to be done,” he said.

The board’s action includes submitting the resolution and grant paperwork to the state and giving the town manager authority to do all contracting paperwork if funding is granted. Contracting with the dredge would not come back before the board.

More information can be found in the Holden Beach April meeting agenda at


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