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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Coastal Management - Beach and Inlet Management Plan

Coastal Management

Beach and Inlet Management Plan

The North Carolina Beach and Inlet Management Plan is a joint project by the Division of Water Resources and the Division of Coastal Management. Management of the state's inlets and beaches is presently achieved through multiple programs managed by the Dept. of Environment and Natural Resources and its divisions.

The Beach and Inlet Management Plan final report is available for download.

Background
The BIMP was mandated by three major N.C. legislative initiatives:

  • Section 13.9c of House Bill (HB) 1840 (The Current Operations and Capital Improvements Appropriations Act of 2000) requires DENR to develop a multiyear beach management and restoration strategy and plan.
  • The Coastal Habitat Protection Plan, as required by the Fisheries Reform Act of 1997, includes a recommendation that addresses the implementation of a comprehensive beach and inlet management plan that addresses ecologically based guidelines, socio-economic concerns and fish habitat.
  • In the summer of 2005, the N.C. General Assembly commissioned a study of the shallow draft navigation inlets along the North Carolina coast. The study examined the cost, benefits, and management issues related to maintaining North Carolina's shallow draft navigation channels.

The purpose of the BIMP is to preserve and enhance the value of the coastal resources of North Carolina, through the development of a systematic management strategy for the state’s oceanfront beaches and active tidal inlet complexes.

The plan divides the North Carolina oceanfront into four regions and five subregions, to better facilitate regional planning of projects such as beach nourishment and inlet dredging, and also recommends specific management strategies for each region and subregion.

The long-term goal of the BIMP is to establish a foundation for effective, continuing management of North Carolina’s beaches and inlets by:

  • Improving coordination between the state, federal and local agencies responsible for managing North Carolina’s oceanfront.

  • Presenting the current state of knowledge regarding beach and inlet processes (both biological and physical).

  • Identifying data gaps and research needs related to beach and inlet management.

  • Establishing management regions; identifying viable management strategies considering the economics and ecology of these regions; and addressing the need for long-term funding that is both predictable and stable.

  • Recommending a long-term implementation strategy for the BIMP that includes ways to address other major beach and inlet management issues, such as sea-level rise, land conservation, recreational beach access and local, state and federal regulation of beach and inlet management activities.

  • Identifying ways in which coastal communities could improve their resiliency to coastal hazards.

  • Recommending ways to maximize the beneficial use of dredged material within sediment management regions, assessing the availability, accessibility and compatibility of inlet and offshore sand sources.

  • Recommending ways to minimize the potential ecological impacts of beach and inlet management activities.

  • Establishing a method for prioritizing projects for funding.

Creation of the BIMP was a recommendation of the 2004 Coastal Habitat Protection Plan and a directive from the General Assembly’s 2000 Appropriations Bill.

 

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