The material from inlet dredging is removed from the waterway channels and placed at the north end of Carolina Beach at Freeman’s Park. The sand from the dredging builds up a beach where campers and motorist can drive their vehicles on after they have purchased a designated spot and permit. While there, they can cook on grill, fish, and enjoy campfires that offer the perfect camping experience.”Daytime visitors can still set up sun shades, day tents, and canopies. However, they must be removed before 11 p.m. each night.” http://www.wect.com/story/28576787/freeman-park-online-camping-reservations-now-available. As with any beach area, there are rule and regulation that must be followed or your camping privileges can be revoked and charged a fine for not following these rules.
While inlet dredging promotes safe navigational means for recreational vessels, charter boats, and small fishing boats, individuals can benefit from the sand removed from the channels at Freeman Park Campfires are allowed, but the campers must bring their own fire pit container which should not exceed 3 ft. in diameter. Campers must also remove their fire pit before they leave the camping facility. As with any public entity, there are designated trash bins where any related trash and camping ash should be place to keep the park clean and free from debris.
As sand and silt washes downstream, sedimentation gradually fill channels and harbors. This material must be periodically removed by dredging. Dredging removes these sediments from the bottom of lakes, rivers, and harbors in waterways that are traveled by recreational boats, charter boats, and small boats or vessels bringing in bulk of goods. Dredging focuses more on the depth of channels to ensure safe passage of boats and ships. Since large vessels carry bulk cargo imported from other countries, dredging plays an important role in the nation’s economy. Dredging is also necessary because this prevents contaminants from spreading from one body of water to the next which can expose fish, wildlife, and people to certain pollutants that are frequently recognized within the industrial environments. Point sources such as sewer, overflows, and industrial discharge have an increased risk of contaminants if dredging was not done. “NOAA’s Office of Response and Restoration plays a major role in protecting and restoring marine natural resources when environmental damage occurs.” http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/dredging.html. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers can issue permits for the disposal of dredging material which provides oversight and authorization for the disposal of dredged material to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
The Feasibility Report and Environmental Assessment evaluates the importance of widening the Wilmington Harbor navigation channels and determines whether the widening is economically justifiable. The National Economic Development (NED) conducts this evaluation and determines whether the nation as a whole will benefit from this widening for the transport of goods and services such as Kinder Morgan Energy Partners LP (KMI), and Amerada Hess Corporation as well as others.
Kinder Morgan Energy Partner LP (KML) is located upstream of Wilmington which has a deep-draft terminal dock that stores and transfers products of petroleum and chemicals with a 1.1 million plus barrels of capacity which would need depth for vessels to bring the items they need to serve the community. “The Wilmington Harbor project, located in Wilmington on the southeastern coast of North Carolina, requires improvements to address navigation inefficiencies and safety issues being faced by navigation vessels calling on the Port of Wilmington.” http://www.saw.usace.army.mil/Portals/59/docs/navigation/Dredging/Projects/Appendix%
Amerada Hess Corporation operates on the left bank of the Cape Fear River which handles petroleum products such as gasoline, kerosene, and jet fuel. The 14 steel storage tanks used to store these products have a capacity of 580,000 barrels of capacity storage and the wharf is 550 linear feet with a depth of -38 feet MLW.
As Carolina Beach Inlets were becoming more difficult to navigate, safety was becoming an issue for many recreational vessels, charter boats, and small boats. The chances of becoming sand barged and damaging the keel of a vessel or charter boat was a fear that many were facing each time they traveled through the channels. The main disadvantages of becoming sand barged is crew members or passenger’s well-being and/or life were at risk also.
It was definitely good news when a budget amendment for the Carolina Beach Inlet was approved. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and New Hanover County will share a total of $206,900 for dredging. Participating municipalities will allocate the remaining balance of $80,000. Chairman Jonathan Barfield said, “It’s so vital that we make sure our inlet is open, number one for safety reasons, but also for the commercial fishermen in that part of our county, but also those recreational boaters as well.”http://www.dredgingtoday.com/2014/03/25/usa-carolina-beach-inlet-gets-dredging-money/.
Now the inlet can remain open and the issue of safety has been addressed. This will also ease the mind of commercial fishermen and recreational vessels who were finding it harder to navigate through the inlet because of shoaling.