Beach towns hit dead end on beach renourishment permit process
Local beaches will not be able to get a permit for renourishment until the Army Corps of Engineers starts the application process up again.
BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WECT) – Three local beaches have hit a dead end when it comes to beach renourishment.
Holden Beach, Oak Island and Caswell Beach got word this week from Rep. Mike McIntyre informing them that the permitting process for beach renourishment is now "inactive."
According to Oak Island Mayor Betty Wallace, the Army Corp of Engineers will not be reviewing renourishment permit applications anymore.
Wallace says it's because of funding issues at the federal level.
Without the permits, these local beach towns can't move ahead with the process to take care of the beaches.
"We want them to take it off of inactive status," said Wallace. "We want them to complete that review and get the review done, so we can get the permit."
Wallace says if they can get the permit, they might be able to find another way to fund the project.
Right now, Oak Island is not in "critical" need of beach renourishment, according to Wallace.
However, there are many concerns looking ahead in the future.
One idea that has been tossed around at Oak Island meetings is the idea of making some people pay to park at the beach.
Wallace says town leaders are still in the early stages of discussing this idea, but they are trying to stay ahead of the game to make sure there is some money for beach renourishment.
Wallace tells WECT.com that right now they are considering making visitors pay to park at the beach.
Residents and renters would not fall into this category.
People who come to the beach for a day or two would have to pay a specific amount for a pass to park at a beach access.
The money collected from these passes would then go into a special fund designated for beach renourishment. It would be used if federal funding was not readily available for them.
"That influx of every family, every visitor wears the beach just a touch and we've got to do some long reach planning to keep out beach a healthy beach," said Wallace when asked about a possible parking fee policy.
Oak Island is still in the early stages of discussing funding ideas.