UNCW professor: Lack of beach nourishment funding could cause property values to drop

UNCW professor: Lack of beach nourishment funding could cause property values to drop

WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - UNCW professor Dylan McNamara believes beach property values could drastically drop as a result of lost government funding for beach nourishment.

Researchers from UNCW, Duke University and The Ohio State University plan to publish the

of their recent study Wednesday.

McNamara is a professor in UNCW's Department of Physics & Physical Oceanography.

"It's a hot button issue deciding who's going to pay those nourishment costs," McNamara said in an interview Wednesday.

He explained that the study he helped put together took a lot of work and collaboration.

"We analyzed how much property value is related to the width of the beach. That beach width it turns out is a critical part of the actual property value of a coastal home," he said.

The professor elaborated that environmental elements like erosion and sea level also play a factor in assessing a home's value.

"We kind of glommed all that stuff together and turned the mathematical crank on that to find out how all those pieces fit together," McNamara explained.

He said that the new function they created to assess property value without government nourishment funding did not produce results favorable for homeowners.

"The reduction in property value would be pretty significant- anywhere from 10 to 20, 30, 40 percent," the professor stated.

George Bell, a Wrightsville Beach resident, said he has owned and rented homes near the coast. In an interview Wednesday afternoon, Bell said he was worried about the current state of nourishment funding in North Carolina.

"We need to talk to the lawmakers and politicians and get them to help us out," Bell said.

McNamara said that if government funding were to dry up completely, he would anticipate property values decreasing slowly overtime, but not all at once.

One local town has seen a break in the battle for government nourishment funding. The Carolina Beach renourishment project was officially

in July, 2014.

Click

to read McNamara's study.

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