OAK ISLAND, NC (WECT) – Beach erosion is becoming a significant problem for Oak Island in Brunswick County.
Oak Island officials say the problem is getting so bad, it could affect the quality of life for people and wildlife.
But, town leaders think they know what's causing the problem and how to find a solution.
Sand fencing can greatly improve the quality of the beach, but when it's improperly installed and not maintained, it creates a safety hazard not just for the people who live along the beach, but for the wildlife who calls that area, home.
Town officials say there are several areas on the beach with sand fencing that needs to be replaced.
The fences help protect the vegetation on the dunes from erosion, but when they are not cared for, town leaders say it can be dangerous for beach-goers and a deadly trap for sea turtles.
Properly installed and maintained sand fences are supposed to run at a 45 degree angle from the ocean so that protected sea turtles can make their way to the water after nesting.
Oak Island's Code Enforcement Officer, Donna Coleman is encouraging property owners to secure town permits before installing sand fencing.
"People are walking on the beach; they can trip over this," said Coleman. "It can get tangled up and hurt sea turtles and any other wildlife that comes up here on the beach and is just a danger to everybody."
There is no financial penalty for bad fencing but there is a requirement for each beach-front property owner in Oak Island to have fencing in place.
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