Summary of Port, Waterway & Beach Commission Meeting

The Port, Waterway & Beach Commission met on February 10th to discuss a wide variety of topics affecting our area and CBIA association.

Topics discussed included:

Mason Inlet Relocation Project (MIRP)

• The maintenance event is underway with an estimated project completion of 20%.  Shallow Draft Inlet (SDI-5) Permitting

• The Biological Assessment is under formal consultation by the USFWS with a Biological Opinion anticipated in the March/April timeframe.

• Draft reasonable and prudent measures/terms and conditions have been evaluated by the SDI-5 contractor.

Carolina Beach CSDR Project, Beach Renourishment Evaluation Report (BRER).

• A stakeholders meeting was held on January 25th.

• The USACE awaits BRER funding from either the President’s FY17 Budget or the USACE’s FY16 workplan.

And more!

Carolina Beach dredge material

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.

Lack of Inlet Dredging

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Politicians and lobbyists need to be made aware of the consequences of not being able to maneuver safely along the channels. The lack of dredging could cause serious problems within the community of Carolina Beach and Pleasure Island if commercial and recreational vessels did not have the ability to safely maneuver through the inlet. If funds for inlet dredging were to dry up, it would put the whole community in an economic crisis because businesses and tourist depend on inlet dredging to be able travel from the inlet to the ocean.

If the keels of sailboats and vessels were to get trapped in sandbars, this could cost fishermen and tourists tens of thousands of dollars for towing and/or repairs for their boats and vessels. This could get very expensive if the inlet was not dredged which could affect businesses and tourists who rely on the inlet for safe travel within the channels. “A boat expert said it could cost up to $1,800 to remove the vessel from the sandbar.” http://www.krgv.com/news/local-news/Shallow-Waters-at-The-Fingers-Problematic-for-Boats/32243042. The dangers of getting trapped on a sandbar could destroy a boats and/or vessel. If the funds were not available for inlet dredging, Carolina Beach and Pleasant Island’s economy would suffer as vessels and recreational boats could get sand barged which could cause financial disaster for many.

Ways to Avoid a Shark Attack

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North Carolina coastlines have been on the news quite a bit since June 8th where shark have attacked swimmers and vacationers in waist deep water. This is unusual behavior for the sharks because humans are not their choice of food and most attacks are presumed to be mistaken identity for other prey. There are steps to follow which can help prevent shark attacks.

  1. Do not wear shiny or bright attire. These colors and shiny jewelry can mimic the shimmering scales of fish.
  2. Do not recline on your surf board. Reclining on a surf board appears like the torso of a seal underneath the water. An example of this was described in the news a few days ago when a competitor in South Africa was waiting to start his competition and was attacked.
  3. Do not go in the water if you have a fresh wound that is bleeding. Blood attracts sharks.
  4. Do not go in the water when you see a bunch of seagulls flying around. This is an indication that there are schools of fish which means a shark could be searching for his next meal.
  5. And last, but not least. If there are red flags up along the beach, be sure to ask a lifeguard why they are up and heed the warnings.