Your Decision Impacts Island’s Future…

Apr 15, 2014
RE Hunter

Courtesy of http://www.wwaytv3.com/

(Bald Head Island, NC)

Bald Head Island’s popular portion of beach known locally as The Point has faced erosion for years. Locals often place the blame on the Wilmington Harbor Shipping Channel. While the US Army Corps of Engineers has denied the claim, the Island still battles erosion… despite the cause. The idea of constructing a terminal groin has been in discussion, and now hinges on a vote. The Island is one of the only coastal communities in NC to bid to build a terminal groin, and the decision lies with the you.

YES or NO, one or the other. Bald Head Island locals will have to make a decision on the May 6 primary ballot, with whether to fund phase-one cost of this project. Phase-1 of the implementation of a terminal groin is projected at $8 million.

“This important election will affect the community for years to come,” Village of Bald Head Manager Calvin Peck said in a bulletin to residents. “Your vote will determine whether to grant the village the power to issue bonds for the terminal groin project.” (Source: PortCityDaily.Com)

The purpose of a terminal groin is to hold sand that without a barrier, such as this, would easily erode away. Essentially, the groin is a rocky arm or low-sitting wall that stretches from one end of the Island. The placement of the groin is essential as it could reduce the sheer number of beach nourishment projects that alone cost millions. Some have said that it more expensive to NOT implement the groin.

The placement of the groin would be at the convergence of South and West beaches – The Point. Beach fill-in would be coupled with the groin project, widening the beach. Phase 2 wouldn’t enter the picture until 2019 and would cost another $10 million. That decision would rest on a separate ballot that year.

So, if beach erosion has been a concern, why are we just now talking about implementing a groin at Bald Head? The concept isn’t new, but until 2011, they were illegal in North Carolina. Those that oppose a terminal groin often refer to the structures as jetties which prevent sand from reaching the shorelines downdrift. Hence, starving those portions of the beach.

Bald Head Island is joined by Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach, and Figure Eight Island who are also pursuing permits for construction of their own terminal groin. If all 4 pass, this would reach the limit of the four-groin cap in NC.

“The Bald Head Island community faces an important decision and the future of the village’s shoreline management strategy is in your hands,” wrote Peck to islanders. “The workshops will help each voter make an informed decision on both the technical design and financial issues presented by the project.” (Source:PortCityDaily.Com)

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