Serious erosion in Bald Head Island

Reported by Gavin Johnson - bio|email
Posted by Debra Worley - email

BALD HEAD ISLAND, NC (WECT) - Town leaders in Bald Head Island say they're dealing with serious beach erosion, and they need to stop it soon.

According to the mayor, the problem began about a month ago when the US Army Corps of Engineers started doing maintenance work on a water channel.

"If you here about a month ago the dredging was set in at a point and we were losing about a foot of sand an hour," said mayor Larry Lammert.  "We did not see the current erosion at this rate until this channel was moved in 2001 close to the island. That's our major cause of erosion."

You can see the green marker that shows the edge of the channel from the beach, and officials say it used to be much further from where families could enjoy the surf.

A spokeswoman for the US Army Corps of Engineers said they are monitoring the movement of the sand in efforts to see what effect the dredging is having on the erosion.

Town officials have spent a million dollars putting 16 groins along the sand banks trying to help with the erosion problem.

"This is how they work, sand moves down to the beach, it gets caught on the east side and lets the sane come around and move down," said Lammert.

As tourist season quickly approaches and the water continues to eat away sand, leaders in Bald Head Island will continue to look for a permanent fix.

Town officials say they're trying to get a permit that would allow them to bring sand from Jay Bird Sholes.

They would use that to repair the erosion.

The Army Corps of Engineers say the dredging will be complete by the end of April.

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