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Permanent fix for southeastern beach renourishment takes step forward

Wrightsville Beach, N.C.

Posted on April 17, 2024

Use of historic borrow sites for nourishment of southeastern North Carolina beaches is a step closer to happening.

There was no objection in the U.S. House of Representatives for legislation securing a permanent fix for Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. House Resolution 524 would return protocol to what it was for over four decades, lowering taxpayers’ costs and reversing a Biden administration Army Corps of Engineers change in the president’s first year in office.

“I’m proud my bill to allow Wrightsville Beach, Carolina Beach and Kure Beach to use their historic borrow sites for beach nourishment passed the House,” said Rep. David Rouzer, R-N.C. “This legislation allows these beaches to continue to use their historic borrow sites for protection from storm damage, maintain their natural ecosystems, and protect our local economy.”

From Wilmington, Wrightsville is about 6 miles, Carolina 12 and Kure 15. All three are considered beach access points for the Port City, and help New Hanover County generate an estimated $1 billion in visitor spending annually.

Without renourishment, the beach is vulnerable to hurricanes, Rouzer wrote in a May 31, 2023, letter to Shalanda Young, the director of the Office of Management and Budget. Rouzer said renourishment was scheduled for 2022, then pushed back by an environmental review process of a more expensive offshore borrow site.

Instead, he asked for and the communities were granted a temporary allowance to continue using Masonboro Inlet. Rouzer said he worked with the Army Corps of Engineers district office in Wilmington.

The project, under the temporary ruling, began Jan. 18 and wrapped up March 13.

The Senate next considers the measure.


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