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!

What is our purpose?

CBIA wants inform the community about issues surrounding the Inlet. We also hope to schieve the following:

Raising of Funds
To coordinate the raising of funds for the long range dredging, Maintenance, and maintaining safety for commercial, pleasure, emergency traffic through Carolina Beach Inlet for city, county, federal and any other source.

Inform & Educate
To inform and educate the public and governments of the economics and benefits of keeping Carolina Beach Inlet dredged and maintained for safety.

Strong Voice
To provide a united and strong voice to any municipal, governmental, or other regulatory or rulemaking body.

Ready to join us? Learn more here.

Dredging in North Carolina

 

Dredges_thumb

There is so much shoaling on the North Carolina shores and the Hatteras and Oregon Inlets are one of the main focuses on the east coast. In order to dredge the inlets so it would be cost efficient and sediment is properly relocated, the Giant Dutch Hopper needs to be used. The Oregon Inlet can be cleaned out within weeks with the Congo River Dutch that has a 40,000 cubic meter capacity vessel. The spoils from the dredge can be a supplement to the South Nags Head beach restoration project as the new sediment are moved in by prevailing tides southward and inshore. Many have laughed at the Dredge Merritt and considered it a waste of time and a waste of hard earned federal tax money. Many have also suggested the Federal Government is the problem, when the US Army of Corps use federal tax money to pay for something that will take longer, do less work, and cost too much money when in reality, they could have used the Giant Dutch Hopper Dredge from the beginning and finish the dredge faster and more efficient. “The Congo River Hopper Dredge would be so effective that no granite rip rap north jetty would be needed. Saving hundreds of millions of dollars. And Congo River type massive dredging project would not have to be repeated for years, perhaps decades.” http://cruisersnet.net/an-argument-for-dredging-north-carolinas-oregon-inlet/ .

Congressman Walter Jones and elected representatives should petition the central government to only use the US built Hopper Dredges because many believe that the US Corps of Engineers have been using tiny, inefficient dredging equipment that cost more and does a less sufficient job.

 

Navigation Waterways

In the Wilmington District, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers are responsible for 300 miles of federal navigation projects along the North Carolina coast that extend from Norfolk, Virginia to Little River, South Carolina. Wilmington Harbor and Morehead City Harbor are the largest navigation projects which have 600 vessels that have 6,500,000 tons of storage areas for containers and cargo. “The Navigation mission is to provide safe, reliable, efficient, effective, and environmentally sustainable waterborne transportation systems (i.e. channels, harbors, and waterways) for movement of commerce, national security needs and recreation.” http://www.saw.usace.army.mil/Missions/Navigation.aspx.

Their responsibilities include planning and constructing new channels, ports, and maintain the depths of these channels, ports, and harbors through inlet dredging. These programs are vital to the nation’s economy and the Corps responsibilities are to keep these transportation system navigable because they are viewed as key elements to the State and local government for job creation and economic development for competitiveness and national security. In order to ensure proper funding for inlet dredging remains available, the government has to view inlet dredging of these harbors and ports as a vital necessity for the nation’s economy or government funding could be completely cut out of the budge.

Carolina Beach Inlet Safety

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.

Lack of Inlet Dredging

Dredges_thumb

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.

Inlet Dredging

Recreational and commercial charter boats rely on the successful dredging of the Carolina Beach Inlet. Dredging is necessary to keep the inlet open so traffic can safely maneuver their vessels to and from the ICW and ocean. The US Army Corps of Engineers performed maintenance dredging in the Carolina Beach Inlet as recently as April.”

Local municipalities and the Carolina Beach Inlet Association have kept the lines of communications open with leader at both county and state levels, to ensure the funding for this crucial project are maintained as Carolina Beach Inlet serves as a vital source of economic growth for Pleasure Island businesses.

“The US Army of Corps of Engineers will dredge at the 100% range at an 8’ depth and 65% at the 8’+2’ depth and a full 150’ wide which will continue safe and successful passage of recreational and commercial charter boats.” http://islandgazette.net/news-server9/index.php/news/local-news1/item/1776-maintenance-dredging-of-carolina-beach-inlet-wrapping-up-this-week. 

The sand that is dredged will be relocated offshore approximately 200 yards from the Carolina Beach Fishing Pier and the funding for this dredging will come from the US Army Corp of Engineers, the State of North Carolina, New Hanover County and Carolina Beach. For more information about inlet issues, visit our website or follow us on Facebook.