Beach News


Beach News is a courtesy service provided by the Carteret County Shore Protection Office that furnishes on-line news relevant to the beaches of North Carolina with special emphasis to Carteret County.  Please visit if you wish to be added to or removed from the "Beach News" distribution list.   Recent "Beach News" is provided below.

BEACH NEWS for 2019

NEW - Bogue Banks – Post-Florence Renourishment Project Website

Coastal communities should exercise caution in using FEMA Flood Maps as the primary indicator of coastal risk

Surf City approves beach push on top of $5 million sand haul, councilman argues for all-out push to preserve funds

NTB Makes Progress With Storm Recovery

Council Hears Beach Nourishment Project Update 

Protect tourism or give schools flexibility? The calendar fight is raging again in NC. 

Virginia is cracking down on “bad actors” who lease oyster grounds to block dredging

NEW UPDATE (2/14/19) - Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

The New Guide to North Carolina Beaches

Outer Banks Towns Dig For Flooding Fixes 

Latest Round of Dredging Results in Clear Route for Hatteras Village and Hatteras Inlet 

Carolina Beach nourishment project to start Saturday 

Charleston’s next flood-protection measure may face some choppy waters 

No Love Lost: First anniversary of legal battle between Carolina Beach and Freeman Park owners

Carteret County Beach Commission Meeting Agenda
February 18, 2019; Pine Knoll Shores Town Hall, 2 pm

Folly Beach will enter legal effort to determine who owns fast-eroding land 

NJ must pay Point Pleasant Beach couple $330K for taking land for dune

Town of Surf City moves forward on sand concerns after FEMA results fail to meet expectations

Group Seeks Corps’ OK On Dredge Spoil Plan 

Kitty Hawk Town Council receives beach monitoring report 

Is more dredging at Port of Wilmington worth the environmental impact? 

Could a prepared food tax help Brunswick maintain its beaches?

Virginia wants more action on climate change. Here's where residents stand on policies.

Dare Requests to Dredge Inlet Year-Round 

Topsail Island beach nourishment projects move forward with no assurances of federal funding

Topsail beaches shaping up for successful tourist season 

Village sand project going strong at Bald Head Island 

USFWS Announces Plans to Revise Hundreds of ESA Recovery Plans 

Our View: How long can we keep shoveling sand against the tides?

Rep. Iler re-introduces ‘meal tax’ to fund beach renourishment projects in Brunswick County

Questions Arise Over Dredge Firm Selection 

Lawmakers Propose Tax for Beach Nourishment (Meals)

Rising beach nest temperatures may become too hot for threatened loggerhead turtles in SC

Beach Nourishment Project Taking Shape As Equipment, Pipes Delivered 

Sea rise along South Carolina coast accelerating faster than realized, researcher says

Mayor Says MOTSU Open To Idea Of Storing Dredge Materials 

Living shoreline to help protect road used by Wright brothers 

PUBLIC NOTICE – The Wilmington District, Corps of Engineers (Corps) received an application from Dare County seeking Department of the Army authorization to perform year-round maintenance dredging of the federal project within Oregon Inlet and associated connecting channels, located in the Town Nags Head, Dare County, North Carolina. 

Nonprofit Outlines Plan for Topsail Projects 

Widening Southern Shores beach to cost at least $9 million 

There's a new antenna at First Landing State Park and it's helping scientists measure currents 

Sunset Beach Must Redo Dredge Application 

State issues permit for groins at DeBordieu

Charleston glimpses possible storm protections as Army Corps launches flood study 

Beach building is keeping the Atlantic Coast from going under

NEW UPDATE Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Beach renourishment set to begin along the coast 

SC Legislature considers controversial ‘wing wall’ sea walls

Shore Protection Office Newsletter (as presented to the Island Review)
Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I) 

Engineers give new details about $12.7M Daufuskie, Jekyll dredging. Here’s what we know 

Back to where it began? Carolina Beach reportedly greenlit to dump lake spoils on MOTSU land 

Florence’s Toll: Room Tax Revenues In Focus

County gets $5M for beach nourishment from state

Beach Nourishment To Begin Next Week On Pleasure Island 

Sea level rise could cost Virginia Beach billions of dollars, study says 

'Vicious cycle.' Flood program hit by storms, then debt
Daniel Cusick, E&E News reporter, January 25, 2019
Will 2019 be the year the National Flood Insurance Program gets its crucial overhaul?  Experts aren't holding their breath.  "My gut says we will get a flood insurance bill out of this Congress," said R.J. Lehmann, a senior fellow at the R Street Institute, which has advocated for NFIP reforms. "You'll have to ask me later if it's a bill we like, if it's a bill the nation needs."  The Federal Emergency Management Agency-administered program has faced mounting scrutiny as its costs skyrocketed in 2017 and 2018. Today it is more than $20 billion in debt and has operated on temporary reauthorizations since September 2017.  Over the same period, the United States has suffered billions of additional dollars in property losses from floods, which experts say will only intensify with a warming climate.
In its 2019 Global Risks Report, the World Economic Forum placed "extreme weather events" and "failure of climate change mitigation and adaptation" on par with "weapons of mass destruction" as the world's greatest threats (Climatewire, Jan. 22).  Scientists and economists have noted that extreme weather events are growing more disruptive and expensive, saddling taxpayers and private-sector insurers with tens of billions of dollars in property claims every year. Meanwhile, federal disaster assistance soared to a record $130 billion in 2017, according to the Risk Management and Decision Processes Center at the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School.  Jeffrey Czajkowski, the center's managing director, said in an interview that NFIP remains a critical part of the nation's overall flood insurance portfolio. But Congress must take steps to align the program with new realities on the ground, including more realistic assessments of at-risk properties.  Climate change, development and other landscape changes have conspired to make many of the nation's FEMA flood maps useless, he said. And even with updated maps, millions of homeowners risk seeing their homes inundated by floodwater as weather events become more severe and unpredictable.
"I think they need to move away from this dichotomy of whether you're in or out of a designated flood area," Czajkowski said. "It's about getting people to think more holistically about floods. We know that floods don't stop at the boundary of the 100-year flood map, so let's stop using that line as our primary tool for defining who needs insurance."  FEMA currently has more than 5.1 million NFIP policies providing at least $1.3 trillion in coverage for flood damages.  The agency collects only $3.6 billion in annual revenue from premiums, leaving the program exposed to massive shortfalls when multiple flood disasters occur over a relatively short period, as it has since 2016.  NFIP claims from the five most destructive hurricanes of the last two years — Harvey, Irma, Maria, Florence and Michael — could reach $19 billion, according to experts. That doesn't account for billions of additional NFIP dollars flowing to policyholders in non-hurricane-affected areas, including California and the Mississippi River Basin, both of which have experienced catastrophic flooding over the last 24 months.  Claims that exceed the $3.6 billion in premium revenue is covered by the U.S. Treasury, with a borrowing cap of $30.4 billion. Congress canceled $16 billion of NFIP debt in 2017 to pay claims associated with that year's hurricanes.  But the program quickly took on more debt and currently owes the Treasury $20.5 billion, according to the Congressional Research Service.
Diane Horn, a CRS analyst who tracks NFIP issues for lawmakers, said in a report last week that the program faces two major problems if Congress fails to meet the upcoming reauthorization deadline of May 31.  First, FEMA will no longer have authority to issue new flood insurance contracts. Polices already in force would be good until the end of the next 12-month policy term. FEMA's borrowing authority from the Treasury would also be slashed from $30 billion to $1 billion.  "Other activities of the program would technically remain authorized, such as the issuance of Flood Mitigation Assistance Grants," Horn wrote. "However, the expiration of the key authorities ... would have potentially significant impacts on the remaining NFIP activities."
Meanwhile, congressional Democrats led by Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) are expected to take up NFIP in the early months of the 116th Congress, according to groups who are advocating for reforms.
In her first policy speech as chairwoman last week, Waters cited NFIP as one of the "big issues we are going to try to work on [on] a bipartisan basis."  Among the key hurdles going forward will be gaining support for provisions that address the problem of repetitive-loss properties, defined as buildings and contents for which the NFIP has paid at least two claims of more than $1,000 in any 10-year period since 1978.  Critics say FEMA payments to rebuild thousands of repetitive-loss properties have cost taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars that could be better spent making homes, buildings and communities safer and more resilient to flooding.  "The program is in a vicious cycle of flood, rebuild and debt," said Laura Lightbody, project director for the flood-prepared communities initiative at the Pew Charitable Trusts. "One way to dig out is reducing the amount of times the federal government pays for flooded properties to rebuild again and again."  Reformers have also stressed the need for greater disclosure requirements when flood-prone properties are put on the market, especially when a property has flooded multiple times.
Four GOP-sponsored bills that passed a key House committee last year are being reintroduced, including legislation that would require FEMA to purchase reinsurance policies from the private sector.  The agency already has authority to tap reinsurance and capital markets, and it did so last year and in 2017. The agency has a three-year contract with Hannover Re to secure $500 million of NFIP's financial risk through August 2021.  Other bills forwarded by GOP Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer of Missouri would allow local communities to develop their own flood maps; require flood insurance premiums to be based on the replacement value of a flood-destroyed property; and allow owners of commercial properties to purchase private flood insurance rather than meet NFIP mandatory purchase requirements.

Oak Island explores service districts for beach funding 

Surf City Addresses Deck Rules, Stirs Debate 

Charleston mayor turns State of the City speech into a deep dive on flooding 

Pender County attempts to clarify hundreds of potentially confusing letters about elevating storm-damaged homes 

$7.8 Million Boost for Myrtle Beach Nourishment 

NEW --- Bogue Banks – Post Florence Florence Replenishment Project Website

Pender County planners mull coastal re-zonings and heightened floodplains regulations 

Judge blocks Trump administration from processing permits for offshore seismic tests 

Surf City grapples with how to replace sand washed away by Florence

Are larger sandbags coming to Bald Head, Caswell Beach? 

With South Ferry Channel Clear, Waterways Commission Turns Their Attention to the New Outer Banks Dredge 

Hurricane Florence Repairs At Camp Lejeune Will Cost Billions, And More Big Storms Are Likely 

NTB outlines projects for hurricane recovery

Coastal counties need to present a united front

Interior updates shutdown plan to push 5-year leasing policy
Kelsey Brugger, E&E News, January 15, 2019
The Trump administration brought employees back to work last Thursday to advance the controversial outer continental shelf five-year leasing plan — just two days after the Interior Department said the work was shelved during the government shutdown.  Last week, Interior updated its contingency plans so 40 employees at the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management could be available "on an on-call basis to perform the exempt functions of preparing National Outer Continental Shelf (OCS) Program decision documents."  The work includes conducting environmental review and finalizing seismic testing permits for energy exploration off the Atlantic coast. "In order to comply with the Administration's America First energy strategy to develop a new [outer continental shelf] Oil and Gas leasing program, work must continue toward issuing the Proposed Program per the Outer Continental Shelf Leasing Act requirements," reads the updated shutdown plan, dated Jan. 8.  That's the same day Interior officials told E&E News in an email that no one at BOEM was working on the five-year plan.
Industry sources had suspected the five-year leasing plan would be delayed due to the government shutdown. Initially, Interior officials contended that was mere speculation, noting a firm publish date was never given.  Today, officials confirmed BOEM employees resumed work on the five-year plan Thursday. They did not respond to further questions by deadline.  The former shutdown plan, dated December 2018, does not mention the outer continental shelf leasing program. It says that BOEM employees would not work on new energy development and that essential employees would permit ongoing work to buttress sister agency the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, the offshore regulator.
Last January, the Trump administration's draft five-year plan shocked coastal residents by proposing to open up 90 percent of the outer continental shelf to oil and gas drilling. Interior officials later clarified that the final version would be winnowed down. But environmentalists wasted little time in suing the federal government. Last week, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson — a Republican — intervened to fight energy exploration off the Atlantic coast.  Last week, multiple coastal lawmakers introduced bills to halt the Trump administration's five-year drilling plan. The legislation would prohibit offshore drilling or energy exploration in federal waters off the Atlantic, Pacific and Gulf of Mexico coasts. Some bills are state-specific, and others span the entire Eastern Seaboard (E&E News PM, Jan. 8).  In recent weeks, critics have cried foul that the Trump administration has given the oil industry special treatment during the shutdown.
Michael Bromwich, the high-profile attorney and an Obama-era director of offshore federal regulation, said the new shutdown plan once again shows the Trump administration's desire to accommodate industry while its own employees are forced to work without pay.  The plan also says if the shutdown extends past today, more employees will be designated as exempt to prepare for upcoming oil leasing sales in the Gulf of Mexico. They will be exempt "only for the amount of time needed to complete this work" and paid with carryover funds.  "Failure to hold these sales would have a negative impact to the Treasury and negatively impact investment in the U.S. Offshore Gulf of Mexico," the plan says.  Offshore wind lease sales, however, appear to be on hold. The updated contingency plan does not mention wind energy. Offshore wind industry sources told Bloomberg today that they are concerned the government shutdown could complicate development in the Northeast.

What’s Going on with the New Dare County Flood Maps? 

Beach renourishment project for Carolina, Kure beaches set to begin in February

Norfolk's $112 million flooding plan will fortify one neighborhood — and test other solutions 

Law Tweaks Coastal Barrier Resource Act 

Frequent flooding causes Nags Head to get creative about resolving problems

Spate of Fed, State Bills Would Block Drilling

Project is potential win-win for Holden Beach and for county 

Artificial reefs and other big ideas under discussion at SC flood panel 

Parts of NC coastline need help due to Hurricane Florence 

NC State Ports Authority Seeks Water Injection Dredge Design-Build & Demonstration Project

California Coastal Commission To Recommend Eminent Domain To Combat Sea-Level Rise?

Largest sand dune on the Outer Banks is moving, threatening nearby homes 

This plant can help save our Lowcountry beaches — and give a salty crunch to our salads 

Another half million to go toward tackling Nags Head flooding 

Their view: Federal flood insurance is a mess and it’s going to be expensive to fix

CRC: Changes to Dune Rules Add Flexibility 

Update: Surf City approves ‘megadecks’ on ‘unbuildable’ oceanfront dune lots

Mason Inlet dredging runs $3.3 million 

Massive Outer Banks sand dunes creep toward homes. Can they be stopped? 

Lidar accelerates hurricane recovery in the Carolinas

USACE Selects 10 Beneficial Use Dredge Material Projects 

‘Wild card’ federal funding to pay SC rookery Crab Bank renourishment

Ever-encroaching sand to be moved again at Jockey’s Ridge 

A reader asked about a living shoreline project. Here's the status and what's coming next. 

Fresh Christmas Trees Useful After Holidays 

Freeman Park property owners allege town is using public trust doctrine to run for-profit operation