The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is responsible for the water ports in the Wilmington District. The water ports are over 300 miles along the North Carolina coast which extends from Norfolk, Virginia to Little River, South Carolina. These project include Wilmington Harbor, Morehead City Harbor, Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway as well as shallow draft projects. “Wilmington Harbor and Morehead City Harbor are the largest of these navigation projects.” http://www.saw.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation.aspx. Morehead City Harbor has available berths and storage areas for cargo which has the ability to handle break-bulk and bulk cargo and is the second largest importer for natural rubber in the country.
On the thirty miles of Federally Authorized Navigation Channels there were 600 vessels carrying over 6,500,000 tons that compromised the Wilmington Harbor and Morehead City Harbor. Reasons for such projects are to provide safe, reliable, efficient, and environmentally safe transportation systems for commerce, national security and recreation needs. These programs provides a network of navigable channels, ports, harbors, and infrastructures that helps maintain economic competitiveness and national security. All these coastal navigational channels and harbors are maintained by the Corps as well as publicly and privately owned vessels, terminals, shipyards, and repair facilities.