State and federal officials reach long term dredging agreement - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

State and federal officials reach long term dredging agreement

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Local officials say the long term agreement will affect inlets in the Lockwood Folly, Topsail Beach, and Carolina Beach area. Local officials say the long term agreement will affect inlets in the Lockwood Folly, Topsail Beach, and Carolina Beach area.

CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WECT) - An announcement Tuesday reveals state and federal officials have reached an agreement which could help increase the number of boats allowed in the ocean.

Until now, agreements for maintenance dredging in shallow draft inlets and channels was an annual negotiation. But now state and federal officials have a long term agreement in place.

It allows dredging on federally authorized shallow-draft inlets and channels until September 2017. Officials say, the agreement was put in place due to certain inlets not being deep enough and wide enough for certain boats.

Local officials say the long term agreement will affect inlets in the Lockwood Folly, Topsail Beach, and Carolina Beach area.

"It draws people to our regions. It creates jobs. It develops small businesses. It supports our commercial, recreational, for hire fisheries. It allows us access to the ocean from inlet infrastructure," said Layton Bedsole, a shore protector for New Hanover County.

He tells us, with the agreement, officials in New Hanover County will have to come up with around $225,000. On Wednesday at the New Hanover County Port Waterways and Beach Commission meeting, elected officials will start discussing which towns will pay what percentage.

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