Carolina Beach's federal beach nourishment program first to expire in country

Published: Jan. 7, 2016 at 3:30 PM EST|Updated: Jan. 11, 2016 at 3:30 PM EST
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WILMINGTON, NC (WECT) - Carolina Beach was the first beach town in the country to take part in a 50-year federal beach nourishment program. On Dec. 14, theirs was the first to expire.

Now that it has ended, the town is left without approval to do the re-nourishment, and the funding for it.

Mayor Wilcox said that never should have happened.

"We've been approaching them for the last eight or ten years to try and get ahead of the fact that there was no policy in place for how you deal with a program that comes to it's 50-year end," Wilcox said.

Wilcox stated that because Carolina Beach is the first to expire, the federal government doesn't know what to do because it's never dealt with this situation before.

"We were given a three year extension to qualify for a 15-year extension and we're over a year into that extension and we still don't have any adequate guidance to tell us what we need to do to qualify," Wilcox said. "We're chewing up that time."

Mayor Wilcox said the town re-nourishes the beaches every three years, and is about a year out from needing to do another one. If they miss that deadline, it could be detrimental to the beaches.

"Much of our beach, if you look up and down at high tide, is not accessible," Wilcox said. "It will continue to erode, and it will get to the point where it will take out our dune system and could affect personal property."

During Senator Burr's visit to Wilmington, Mayor Wilcox asked his help with moving the process along. He said if anyone would like to assist the town, you can write to your local representatives.

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