My Turn: The ongoing impacts of beach erosion - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

My Turn: The ongoing impacts of beach erosion

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You may not live on Bald Head Island or even visit the beautiful beaches there, but you should care about what's going on in regards to their ongoing beach erosion. 

There are a couple issues taking place that could end up impacting all of us. 

One issue is who should be paying to keep sand on their beach - or any beach for that matter.  It's easy for those who don't live near a beach to say let Mother Nature take its course, but it's not that simple.  Manmade dredging may be the blame for some of the erosion and our regional economy depends heavily on the tourism dollars our beautiful beaches provide. 

The other issue is tax payer money fighting tax payer money and my guess is that money will erode faster than the beach.  The Village of Bald Head Island is spending plenty of money fighting with the Army Corps of Engineers.  This legal battle stems from what they say is a failure on the Corps' part to honor an agreement to provide sand to the Bald Head Island coastline, and the Corps is spending our tax money to defend itself.

I don't know what the answer is, but I think that is an incredible waste of taxpayer funds.  You could probably buy a lot of sand with that money. 

That's my turn. Now it's your turn.  To comment on this segment, or anything else, email me at yourturn@wect.com.


 

Emailed comments from viewers:

The bible says not to build on shifting sand, and if you go to the beach these days they sure want your money but they really don't want you there. Before all the major development started nobody built anymore than they could afford to lose . Now everyone else has to help pay insurance , if you can afford to live there pay your own way. In most flood zones they want even let you rebuild

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As a long time frequenter to Bald Head, there is one easy solution to some of the past problems:

  1.  The Corps of Engineers already does estimates of how much dredging that they will do.
  2. It is already decided what Island/what beach the dredged sand will go to, on a rotating basis.
  3. If the Corps of Engineers finds that they are continuing to dredge beyond their estimated amount, then they should seek where this additional sand is coming from.  Most likely the affected Island/Beach will be obvious, and the town or towns will already be rightfully complaining.
  4. The Corps should modify its agreements with the towns such that rather than all of the sand going to that year's Island/Beach, excess sand should go back to the beach experiencing the erosion.  This will require the dredger to re-set his dredge pipe (s), a minor cost in the scheme of things, and send the sand back to the affected beach.  As it is set up, there is no leeway to implement this simple solution. 
  5. There can be a certain percentage decided on of excess sand that still goes to that years designated beach (say 5% or 10%).  It is assumed that the COE properly does its quantity of sand volume estimate(s).
  6. Other than a one time change to the existing agreements to allow this to happen, this would eliminate much of the ill will and protracted costly & stupid legal battles, all at taxpayer dollars (both local and U.S. Government/COE lawyers, engineers and other officials.

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