Coastal Resources Commission study of terminal groins nears completion
Since September, the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission has been conducting a study of the feasibility and advisability of the use of a terminal groin as an erosion control device. The study was mandated by Session Law 2009-479, which requires the CRC to conduct the study and present a report to the Environmental Review Commission and the General Assembly by April 1, 2010. The Environmental Review Commission is a joint legislative study committee.
The legislation directs the CRC to consider the following:
Scientific data regarding the effectiveness of terminal groins constructed in North Carolina and other states in controlling erosion. Such data will include consideration of the effect of terminal groins on adjacent areas of the coastline.
Scientific data regarding the impact of terminal groins on the environment and natural wildlife habitats.
Information regarding the engineering techniques used to construct terminal groins, including technological advances and techniques that minimize the impact on adjacent shorelines.
Information regarding the current and projected economic impact to the state and local governments and the private sector from erosion caused by shifting inlets, including loss of property, public infrastructure and tax base.
Information regarding the public and private monetary costs of the construction and maintenance of terminal groins.
Whether the potential use of terminal groins should be limited to navigable, dredged inlet channels.
The CRC contracted the study to the engineering firm Moffatt and Nichol, who studied five coastal structures: Oregon Inlet and Fort Macon in North Carolina; and Amelia Island, Captiva Island and John’s Pass in Florida. Moffatt and Nichol delivered their final report to the CRC on March 1.
A terminal groin is a long, low structure, typically made of rock or concrete, which extends out into the ocean at the end of an island, and is intended to trap sand and prevent beach erosion.
The CRC has held four public meetings related to the terminal groin study, and has a final public hearing scheduled for 5 p.m., March 24 at the Sea Trail Resort in Sunset Beach.
The commission has begun discussing possible recommendations to the General Assembly based on this study, and will finalize those recommendations during its next meeting, March 24-26 in Sunset Beach. The CRC’s recommendations will be delivered to the General Assembly along with the study report by April 1.
Other upcoming meetings related to the study are:
March 12 - Science Panel Meeting, 2728 Capitol Blvd., Room 1H120, Raleigh, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m.
March 18 - Steering Committee Meeting to Develop Draft Recommendations for CRC / New Bern, Cooperative Extension Office, 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.
To submit written comments, please e-mail Jim.Gregson@ncdenr.gov, or send via mail to Jim Gregson, 400 Commerce Ave., Morehead City, N.C. 28557.
Find out more about the study, study site locations and upcoming meetings, and view all comments received to date on the terminal groin study Web site.