November 18, 2007

Notes from the beach

I receive periodic emails from the Carteret County Shore Protection Office. Rudi Rudolph collects news reports and comments about beach issue. The primary focus is on erosion and dealing with its impacts but he also sends along stories about beach driving, the NPS to name a few. You can subscribe on their web site.
I thought I would share two brief pieces from the most recent edition. Neither is available on line. This is much easier than actually writing something of my own. Enjoy
Island Free Press (11//14/07)>

Dare County will ask to intervene in beach driving lawsuit. The Dare County Board of Commissioners voted in closed session after its Nov. 5 meeting to file a motion to intervene in the lawsuit that was brought against the Park Service last month by two environmental advocacy groups, the Defenders of Wildlife and the National Audubon Society, which are represented by Southern Environmental Law Center. The lawsuit claims that the Park Service has failed to regulate beach driving on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore beaches according to federal law. If approved, Dare County would be allowed to participate as a party in the suit to represent the interests of the people who live, work, and visit Dare County and “to protect against the devastating negative economic impacts that would result if beach driving were further restricted or prohibited.” “It is important for us to have a seat at the table so the people have a voice in the matter,” said Warren Judge, chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners. “A process has been established to develop a long term ORV management plan to balance the interests of all involved. Until that plan is complete and the final rules are established, the Interim Management Plan must stay in place.” According to Dare County Attorney Bobby Outten, the motion is expected to be filed in the next couple of weeks in the U.S. District Court in Elizabeth City.

Letter to the Editor

Carteret County News Times (11/16/07)

For several decades now we have been subjected to a steady stream of unsolicited advice from Dr. Orrin Pilkey on what to do about beachfront erosion on Bogue Banks. When beach nourishment was first proposed some 30 years ago, Dr. Pilkey’s advice was not to proceed with such a project because it was a waste of time and money and would not provide lasting protection for oceanfront property. When it was discovered that nourished beaches survive hurricanes and other storms better than unnourished beaches, Dr. Pilkey abandoned this tactic and began to talk about the damage nourishment does to the mole crab and coquina clam population. When it was discovered that these critters rapidly reestablish themselves following beach nourishment, this ploy was abandoned in favor of a new tactic, i.e., the quality of sand being placed on the beaches. Is it just me, or do others feel that a beach made up of sand, which is less than perfect, is better than no beach at all? My family has owned property in Atlantic Beach since 1940. We now have more thickly vegetated dunes here in Atlantic Beach than anytime since 1940, and this is due primarily to the three nourishment projects by the U.S. Corps of Engineers. Beach nourishment works. In the News-Times Nov. 14 article on beach nourishment, Dr. Pilkey venomously attacks beachfront property owners by saying, “To hell with them” because they built on an eroding shoreline.

When these houses were built there was little or no erosion. The erosion began with the deepening of the Beaufort channel by the Corps of Engineers. My advice to Dr. Pilkey is for him to stay on the west side of I-95 and let the people in Carteret County, who really care about the protection and preservation of our beaches, continue to do the wonderful job they have been doing. – James Lanier



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