August 2, 2005

Shoring Up N. Carolina Islands: A Losing Battle?

Tje Breechhttp://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2003/11/images/031110_isabelinlet.jpg
Shoring Up N. Carolina Islands: A Losing Battle?: "According to Pilkey and several of his colleagues in the scientific community, humans are killing barrier islands such as the Outer Banks by attempting to stop nature from running its course.

At a cost of at least U.S. $7 million, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the North Carolina Department of Transportation are busy pumping sand back into Isabel Inlet and plan to have it filled and U.S. Highway 12 back in operation by the end of November.

'You had a good-sized area totally cut off from the rest of the world, no access at all, a pretty critical condition,' said Steve Varnedoe, chief engineer of operations with the North Carolina Department of Transportation in Raleigh.

Varnedoe said the decision to fill the inlet came from the Federal Emergency Management Agency which had orders from the Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge to restore access to Hatteras quickly. Longer-term alternatives such as construction of a bridge or a ferry system were shelved."

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