Friday, February 18, 2011

The battle of the beaches, 2011

The N.C. Coastal Federation, one of several institutions that have worked to prevent manmade damage along the N.C. coastline, is worried about legislation in the 2011 General Assembly to allow the use of terminal groins or other hardened structures in an attempt to stabilize inlets.  Groins, jetties and seawalls have long been banned because of the damage they can create to adjoining property along the coast, often as the result of scouring away of adjacent beachfronts.

Todd Miller, the founder and executive director of the federation, sent the following letter to legislators Friday:

February 18, 2011

RE:  Please Protect Our Beaches

Dear Senator,  

Don’t succumb to demands to radically change 25 years of coastal policy that have made our barrier island beaches the envy of the nation.

Some oceanfront property owners built in dangerous places, and now they want to build rock walls to protect their risky investments. They are asking you to weaken the state’s longstanding ban on jetties, groins and seawalls to allow “terminal groins.” This will put the fate of our beaches into the hands of agencies and judges rather than the legislature.

Allowing terminal groins will ultimately force taxpayers to foot the bill to protect risky coastal investments. Weakening this prohibition commits taxpayers to a never-ending and escalating fight against the sea. Those who built too close to the sea will keep asking for more destructive remedies when terminal groins don’t work.  Attached is a fact sheet that explains why terminal groins are bad for our beaches and pocketbooks.

Take a moment before you cast your vote, and read a portion of our state Constitution you swore to uphold upon taking office. Article XIV, Section 5, reads:

It shall be the policy of this State to conserve and protect its lands and waters for the benefit of all its citizenry, and to this end it shall be a proper function of the State of North Carolina and its political subdivisions to acquire and preserve park, recreational, and scenic areas, to control and limit the pollution of our air and water, to control excessive noise, and in every other appropriate way to preserve as a part of the common heritage of this State its forests, wetlands, estuaries, beaches, historical sites, open lands, and places of beauty.

 How does marring our beaches with walls of rock that will destroy them meet that constitutional mandate?

 We hope you will bring wisdom and conservatism to this debate, and exercise extreme caution and skepticism about claims by high-priced consultants and their paid lobbyists that more government management of our beaches will result in quick, inexpensive fixes to erosion problems. Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or comments or would like to talk more about this.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I know that I don't want to be seeing any groins at the beach.