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

Post Dorian Drone Movie of Bogue Banks


County to consider $6.5 million contract to dredge Mason Inlet, sand will be sold to Figure Eight for beaches 

Historic US cities face existential threat from rising ocean sea levels 

Prized boneyard beach bulldozed at SC’s ‘natural’ Hunting Island State Park

“The waves have washed away all the dunes": Avon, N.C., seeking fix for eroding shoreline 

Where did replenished beaches go? (DE)

Shoaling outside Ocracoke Silver Lake Harbor to curtail Cedar Island and Swan Quarter runs on Dec. 4

Shore Protection Office Newsletter (as presented to the Island Review
2019 Hurricane Season Review 

Pender beaches look to rebound  

Ray Sturza (April 3, 1953 - November 25, 2019)

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

Mysterious, record-breaking tides have plagued Charleston and elsewhere for months

County to consider $6.5 million contract to dredge Mason Inlet, sand will be sold to Figure Eight for beaches 

Dare County Commissioners Approve Up to $250,000 for Beach Nourishment Study in Avon

Carolina Beach councilman answers the question, ‘Why not renourish Freeman Park?’

A developer wants to build homes on a private Outer Banks island. But there are big concerns

Greens threaten broad challenge over backlog
Pamela King, E&E News reporter, November 20, 2019
The Center for Biological Diversity today threatened to file one of the largest ever lawsuits under the Endangered Species Act.  The environmental group notified the Fish and Wildlife Service that it intends to sue the agency within 60 days over its failure to implement a 2016 work plan to reach decisions on whether more than 500 species should be listed as endangered or threatened.  The Center for Biological Diversity's notice targets 274 species for which the Trump administration has exceeded ESA decision deadlines. Some of those determinations have been delayed by more than five years, the center said.  "Scientists around the world are sounding the alarm about the extinction crisis but the Trump administration can't be bothered to lift a finger for hundreds of species that are in serious trouble," Noah Greenwald, endangered species director at the center, said in a statement today.  "Every day that protections are delayed is a day that these fascinating species are a step closer to extinction."  Among the animals the center highlighted in its notice are the American wolverine, the northwestern moose and a type of freshwater fish that turns over stones while searching for food.  "If the Service does not make the required 12-month findings for those species awaiting a listing determination, or make the required determinations for the ten candidate species, or contact us to develop a legally binding timeline for making these findings within the next sixty days, we intend to file suit," the group wrote in its letter to FWS.  The Interior Department, which houses FWS, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.  The Center for Biological Diversity is also part of a lawsuit challenging the Trump administration's new suite of ESA regulations that introduced higher thresholds for government action on species protections (E&E News PM, Aug. 21).

Town of Atlantic Beach completes annual dredging project 

Oak Island inches closer to major sand projects 

Neighbors sue over private Sea Pines seawall, say its construction was a surprise

State Adds 35 Acres to Bird Island Reserve 

Rising seas are eroding coastal property values 

Group Of Researchers: Sand Re-Nourishment Could Be To Blame For Beach-Related Accidents 

'We're loving these islands to death': An island community grapples with its future

An island community grapples with its future (Ocracoke)

Disappearing SC Crab Bank rookery still in long wait for sand 

New ruling expected to save coastal towns cash on beach renourishment

Interior Department Reverses Costly Beach Renourishment Ruling

Interior Dept. ruling could lower beach renourishment costs

Nags Head won’t ease lot size rule for big homes

SC resort plan for remote island may be OK under ecotourism rules, but some oppose project 

Trump Administration Makes It Easier to Dredge Protected Areas to Restore Beaches (CBRA)

NC’s Next Sea Level Rise Study to Eye 2100 

After storm shallowing, navigation restricted on Lockwood Folly inlet. County seeking quick fix 

Carolina Beach Continues Efforts To Restart Lake Dredge Project

Council Discusses Freeman Park Changes For 2020 Season 

Is Cape Lookout an Omen for Other Barrier Islands? 

PUBLIC NOTICE - The Wilmington District, Corps of Engineers (Corps) received an application from the Town of Oak Island to dredge Jay Bird Shoals and discharge the dredged material along the shoreline of Oak Island for beach nourishment. 

Carteret County Beach Commission Meeting Agenda
October 28, 2019; Pine Knoll Shores Town Hall, 2 pm

NTB shoreline projects proceed 

Topsail Beach signs contract for beach nourishment 

Pawleys beach renourishment projects gets underway

KDH board rejects large home amendments 

Lack of Public Input at Issue With Port Study

Conservation group warns of limited development potential on 110 acres of Topsail Island land

Waterways Commission Makes Post-Dorian Plans to Address South Ferry Channel, and Reviews South Ferry Dock Project

Shore Protection Office Newsletter (as presented to the Island Review
Post-Florence Phase II Project Awarded – Construction to Begin in 2020

These SC houses are falling into the ocean as beaches erode. Who should remove them?

Hunting Island should soon have a ‘brand new’ beach as part of a long-awaited project 

VIMS-led study gets $700K to study natural vs man-made dunes

Federal Review Finds Port Study Deficient 

Shifting sands: We continue to build and live along the N.C. coast, but should we? 

NEW - Post-Florence Renourishment Project - Phase II (2020) Website

Southern Shores to hire beach consultant

Atlantic Beach approves contracts for $8 million sand replacement project 

State Drafts Plan to Study Dredge Spoils Sites

Nags Head commissioners discuss withdrawing from NCBIWA

Developing Bay Point Island in Beaufort County is still a bad idea (SC)

Topsail Beach Contract for Weeks Marine, Works Set for December 

Better Beach Data Goal of DUNEX Project

Oak Island agrees to seek $4.5 million in sand grants 

King Tide washout delays Pawleys Island beach renourishment

NEW – Post Dorian DRONE MOVIE of Bogue Banks

Cape Lookout staff works to restore area after hurricane cuts new inlets 

Corps plan to deepen river to 47 feet under fire 

Grand Strand leaders travel to Washington D.C. to discuss beach renourishment program 

In effort to save sea turtle eggs, Bald Head Island to euthanize coyotes 

UNCW Series Examines Climate Challenges

Heavy Equipment at Issue in Dune Planting

Report: beach erosion continued after storm

Why are there ‘bowling ball’ sized rocks along the Myrtle Beach shore? 

New Rule Limits Options For Saving Species 

Beach erosion proves costly 

Charleston Dutch Dialogues report recommends piloting changes on Charleston’s East Side, private sector involvement

Public Can Weigh in on Inlet Hazard Updates 

30 years after Hugo tore it down, SC coast builds back in the danger zone

‘Defend, Adapt, Retreat’: Tybee’s plan to grow resilient against sea level rise

Town Resumes Sale Of Freeman Park Daily Passes; Erosion Continues 

Low bid on beach project at $28M 

Dutch reinforce major dike as seas rise, climate changes

Carteret County Beach Commission Meeting Agenda
September 23, 2019; Emerald Isle Town Board Room, 2 pm 

Topsail Island updates: Dorian didn’t add sand, beach vehicle permits, and nourishment projects at $28 million 

Carteret Gets $18M to Restore Beaches 
Majority of sea turtle nests still intact after Hurricane Dorian 

Dorian washed out the most sea turtle nests in at least 10 years in Cape Hatteras National Seashore 

Getting money for sand (SC)

FEMA gives towns $18M for sand

Sale of daily weekend passes to Freeman Park resumes

Hurricane Dorian reshaped part of the Outer Banks shoreline, Park Service says

Rare turtle in race with erosion along crucial beaches
Chelsea Harvey, E&E News reporter Published: Tuesday, September 17, 2019
When handling turtle eggs, there's a major rule: Don't let them roll around.  "The embryo attaches to the side of the shell," Jerry Tupacz explains. "And if you roll it over, it breaks the embryo."  Crouched in the sand, he demonstrates the proper form. Reach straight into the nest, gently withdraw an egg without shaking it or flipping it over and place it carefully on the beach. Arrange the eggs methodically in rows of five, so they're easy to count. Then, just as carefully, move them into a bucket for transport.  It's a luminous May morning on Cape Island, S.C., and the nest Tupacz is emptying is the first one he's spotted since he began combing the beach two hours earlier. It's still early in the turtle nesting season. By June, hundreds of nests will have appeared on the sandy shore.  Tupacz is a biologist at Cape Romain National Wildlife Refuge, a handful of barrier islands located just off the South Carolina coast, not far from the city of Charleston. The site provides undisturbed habitat for thousands of nesting shorebirds and seabirds, including oystercatchers, black skimmers, piping plovers and at least seven species of terns.
It's also one of the most important habitats for loggerhead sea turtles on the East Coast.  According to refuge manager Sarah Dawsey, Cape Romain may provide nesting habitat for nearly a quarter of the entire northern nesting aggregation, a genetically distinct turtle subpopulation that includes all the loggerheads north of Florida. The refuge averages at least 1,000 nests each summer, although in recent years it's been known to see more than 2,000 in a single season.  But Cape Romain is notable for another reason: It's one of the most rapidly eroding areas on the South Carolina coastline, losing as much as 25 or 30 feet of land each year in some places, according to recent estimates. And as the beachfront washes away, it's taking valuable sea turtle habitat with it.  So far, the Cape Romain turtles seem unaffected, according to Tupacz. But as sea levels continue to rise — not just here, but all along the coast — scientists are wondering what it means for sea turtle populations.
Turtle DNA
Loggerheads are in the process of swimming their way out of a global decline. Protected under the Endangered Species Act since 1978, the turtle has been threatened by a variety of factors including coastal development, habitat loss, egg predators, accidental capture in fishing nets and marine pollution.  Recent efforts to monitor and protect turtle nests, and to promote more sustainable fishing practices, seem to have had a positive effect. Research suggests the species is increasing again worldwide, although certain populations remain on the endangered species list.  In the U.S., ongoing conservation efforts mean government agencies and environmental groups work side by side to monitor turtle nests, protect the eggs and ensure the babies make it to the water once they hatch. That's why Tupacz, with the help of local volunteers, spends his summers patrolling the beach in search of fresh turtle nests. At each site, they document the nest and count the eggs — and if the nest is located in a risky spot, they move it to a safer place.
Before covering the nest back up with sand, they also set one egg aside for a science sample. Each sample is sent to a special program housed at the University of Georgia, where scientists are compiling genetic information on sea turtles up and down the East Coast.  Tupacz demonstrates the technique. First, use your hands to tear open the soft shell. Next, carefully squeeze the bright-orange yolk into a tube. Then, place the empty eggshell in a separate tube and make sure the nest's location is carefully documented and labeled.   It's a practical trade-off. This egg will never hatch and contribute to the population. But it may help scientists understand the ways that sea turtles are responding to their changing environments.
"What we do is we extract mom's DNA from the eggshell — we don't ever have to touch the turtle itself," explained biologist Joseph Nairn, who heads the UGA program. "And then we do a DNA fingerprint for that turtle, much like they do for humans."  The project has been tracking the entire northern nesting aggregation for 10 years now. Year over year, the research documents where turtle mothers lay their eggs and eventually where their offspring come back and make their own nests.  The project has "allowed us to get more data on a much larger spatial scale than we could with a physical tagging project," according to Nairn.  Other programs, including the Archie Carr Center for Sea Turtle Research at the University of Florida, are conducting similar research on turtle populations in Florida.
Such data are useful for a variety of purposes, helping scientists keep tabs on how frequently female turtles reproduce, how many nests they lay in a single season and how far apart those nests may be from one another. And if the project continues for the long term — which is the goal, according to Nairn — it could provide some insights on the movements of sea turtles in response to environmental pressures, including climate change.  Loggerheads don't necessarily nest in the exact same spots every time, but they do tend to return to the same general areas. If a favored beach becomes unavailable, due to erosion or coastal development, genetic tracking could help scientists keep an eye on where its former nesters end up instead.   It may be especially useful monitoring for sites like Cape Romain, which are both significant nesting sites and highly susceptible to the influence of sea-level rise.   "We have a 10-year record of all of the turtles that have nested on Cape [Island]," Nairn pointed out. "And if Cape is no longer there, we will pick up those turtles. If they nest anywhere else in the northern recovery unit, we will know where they move to, to nest."
'Completely unknown'
Sea-level rise isn't the only climate concern for turtle populations. Scientists are also worried about the effects of rising temperatures.  Many species of sea turtles, including loggerheads, have temperature-dependent eggs — that is, the ambient temperature determines whether the babies develop into males or females. A warmer climate could cause an increase in female turtles and a shortage of males, which could affect long-term reproduction rates.  Numerous studies have identified this phenomenon as a potential major issue for sea turtle populations. Research into the effects of sea-level rise on U.S. turtle populations is much more limited.   One study, based in Florida, modeled the effects of sea-level rise, assuming continued coastal development. The results suggested that loggerhead nests would likely continue to migrate northward, crowding narrowing stretches of land.
"So what we found is that the effects of sea-level rise were non-trivial and were severely going to narrow the beach and the available habitat for sea turtles to nest," said Joshua Reece, a biologist at California State University, Fresno, who led the study.  But he added that other research shows sea turtles have historically found ways to adapt to sea-level rise and coastal erosion.   Over the last million years, when prime nesting habitat in present-day Florida temporarily disappeared under water, genetic reconstructions suggest sea turtle populations migrated down to Mexico. When the land resurfaced, they made their way back north again, Reece said.  He said the more immediate threat to sea turtle populations is coastal development, which is affecting nesting habitat at a much faster pace than sea-level rise.  In the long term, development may also compound the effects of sea-level rise on turtle populations. Some man-made alterations to the shoreline can speed up erosion or prevent the land from naturally adapting to rising waters. And development can also erase habitats that turtles might have otherwise moved into as nesting sites wash away.
"Sea turtles have gone through this in the past, and they would be very likely to be able to shift their distributions to the north or elsewhere to wider beaches if we hadn't already put hotels or rock walls and things on those beaches," he told E&E News.  Sites like Cape Romain exemplify this kind of tension. Nearby Charleston is one of the fastest-growing metropolitan areas in the country. Even at the protected refuge, reports suggest a hydroelectric project on the nearby Santee River has compounded the effects of sea-level rise and accelerated the rate of erosion since the 1940s.
Reece, for his part, says it may be difficult to identify clear, long-term trends in the response of sea turtles to coastal erosion, even if it's possible to track their movements in the short term.  "The way that they respond to change plays out over much longer time scales than biologists can measure on," he said.   He maintains that the biggest way to help sea turtle populations is to address the other human factors affecting their habitats, including development and modifications to shorelines.   Nairn, the UGA researcher, is also hopeful that sea turtles may be able to adjust to the shifting coastline, as long as there are other habitats available.   But, he said, "once we really start seeing significant [sea-level rise], that's not just going to shift sand up and down the beach, that's going to move water inland, up into the marshes, and it's really completely unknown as to what's going to happen to nesting habitat when that happens."  Back at Cape Island, Tupacz prefers to stay optimistic.   "With all of Cape that's washed away, there's still more turtles coming and there's still good habitat for them — but there's less of it," he says. "So it's definitely a big concern. But I just can't say what's going to happen. I don't think the turtles are going to completely disappear."

State agency declines funding amid growing public interest to protect 110 acres on Topsail Island

New sand at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront persevered through Hurricane Dorian

Beach replenishment effort disappoints some in Virginia Beach neighborhood

'We get to get our island back:' Residents rejoice over Pawleys Island beach renourishment

Pawleys Island leaders move forward with beach renourishment project

N.C. approves buying Sunset Beach land near Bird Island 

Despite storms, town moving ahead with beach project (SC) 

Hurricane Dorian pushed sand onto ENC beaches

Dorian Takes a Swipe at Beach Replenishment Projects

Area beaches see minimal Dorian erosion, even gain sand

Cleanup from Dorian begins on Outer Banks, but Ocracoke still closed

After $45 million project, will Grand Strand beaches need more sand thanks to Dorian? 

The boy who cried hurricane? Annual storm scares can leave residents jaded

9/6/19 - Dorian Preliminary Beach Assessment

Carolina Beach Working To Resume Lake Dredging Project

Town takes beach building project to the limit (S.C.)

Corps to add 1.3 million cubic yards of sand to Tybee beach

Virginia Beach eyes expansive program to buy out frequently flooded homes. Charlotte could be a model.

Re-Post - GovLov Podcast – Shoreline Management & Beach Renourishment in North Carolina (Dr. Robert Young & Greg “rudi” Rudolph)

GovLov Podcast – Shoreline Management & Beach Renourishment in North Carolina (Dr. Robert Young & Greg “rudi” Rudolph) 

Judge blocks exclusive, gated community from putting tons of rocks on public beach 

Expect to see ledges along Nags Head beaches due to the rough surf

Limits on scientists’ North Carolina sea-level rise study could be loosened 

Port Officials Review Expansion Study Draft 

Hovey files lawsuit over Duck beach access

Beach renourishment project: It’s a yes, but not quite yet (SC) 

Hicks column: Raise high the Low Battery, City Council ... and do it quickly

Crews Executing Army Corps Contract to Renourish S.C. Beaches 

On the Outer Banks, there may be no escape from The Big One

The SC sea will take back Capt Sam’s Spit. Don’t try to stop it

Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Endangered Species Act Changes Challenged

No attempt to protect 110 acres of open land on Topsail Island after $7.9 million listing

Tourists who stole sand from beach in Sardinia could face up to six years in prison 

Nags Head beach widening wraps, but expect changes as sand moves around naturally 

Judge dismisses petition challenging SAGA permits 

Topsail Island’s Southern Tip Back on Market

Currituck pressured to do beach nourishment like other coastal communities

Concerns voiced over 110 acres of open land on Topsail Island’s southern tip listed at $7.9 million

Seashore beaches reopen as nesting season slows 

SAGA plans in KDH spur debate over ‘mini-hotels’

Sea Level Rise Report to Look Beyond 2050

The Coming Floods: How Sea Level Rise Affects All Of Us 

Endangered Species Act Changes Website (USFWS)

Editor’s Blog: Sea Turtles Nest Records are Being Shattered – But Why? 

Officials look at multiple dredging projects 

Emergency Ferry Channel Cleared for Future Hurricane Evacuation

ESA Regulatory Reform Package Crosses the Finish Line

Endangered Species - Trump admin rolls out rule changes to limit law's reach
Adam Aton, E&E News reporter, August 12, 2019
The Trump administration announced changes to Endangered Species Act rules today that complicate efforts to protect at-risk animals and plants by requiring higher standards for government action.  The new rules will apply only to future listing decisions. Plants and animals with existing protections won't be affected unless their status changes.  Administration officials hailed the reforms as balancing conservation with economic interests.  "The best way to uphold the Endangered Species Act is to do everything we can to ensure it remains effective in achieving its ultimate goal — recovery of our rarest species. The Act's effectiveness rests on clear, consistent and efficient implementation," Interior Secretary David Bernhardt said in a statement.  "An effectively administered Act ensures more resources can go where they will do the most good: on-the-ground conservation," he said.
Environmentalists promised to challenge the changes in court, and Democrats vowed to attack them on Capitol Hill.  The rules track with the administration's draft regulations in making the biggest change in a generation to a broad swath of the federal conservation regime.  Some of the regulations' biggest impacts deal with the difference between threatened and endangered species.  Wildlife is deemed threatened when it's at risk of becoming endangered in the "foreseeable future." The administration wants to consider only future factors that it deems "likely," not just possible.  The draft regulations would have also allowed the government to disregard some data from computer models; it's not clear whether the final rule keeps that provision.
"We'll look out in the future only so far as we can reliably predict and not speculate," said Gary Frazer, the Fish and Wildlife Service's assistant director for ecological services.  There's no exact time frame the government will follow, he said, adding that the new standard will codify the Interior Department solicitor's opinion that the government currently relies on.  "It'll only go so far as we can reasonably determine that the threats — so this might be climate-induced changes in the physical environment — and the species' responses to those threats are likely. That we're not speculating about those," Frazer said.  Threatened and endangered species have enjoyed some identical protections since 1978, when FWS used its flexible authority to automatically grant threatened species the same safeguards as endangered ones from harm or disturbance. That's known as the "blanket 4(d) rule."  The administration is ending that. FWS will now have to craft individual regulations for each threatened species.  Administration officials said that provision would encourage better conservation plans, including more voluntary programs. Conservationists predict the extra work will worsen the service's backlog. 
The regulations call for greater emphasis on economic impact analysis, even as environmental groups note the law forbids anything except science from influencing a listing decision.  The regulations allow the government to present economic impacts alongside a listing decision. To stay within the law, separate teams would work in parallel on the listing decision and the economic analysis, officials said.  The rules also change the way officials designate critical habitat for a species' recovery. Officials would have to consider protecting areas already occupied by the species before considering unoccupied habitat. Those decisions had been made in tandem in the past.
GOP cheers as enviros threaten lawsuits
Republicans, who have long struggled to push ESA changes through Congress, cheered the new regulations while urging even more action.  "Under the previous administration, the Endangered Species Act strayed woefully far from its original intent. The Act was morphed into a political weapon instead of a tool to protect wildlife. Secretary Bernhardt's dogged dedication to righting this wrong is again made apparent today," Rep. Rob Bishop of Utah, the House Natural Resources Committee's top Republican, said in a statement.  "These final revisions are aimed at enhancing interagency cooperation, clarifying standards, and removing inappropriate one-size-fits-all practices," he said. "I look forward to supporting efforts in Congress to enshrine these revisions into law."  Some Senate Republicans struck an even more forceful tone.  "These final rules are a good start, but the administration is limited by an existing law that needs to be updated. I am working in the Senate to strengthen the law, so it can meet its full conservation potential," Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman John Barrasso (R-Wyo.) said in a statement. 
  Environmentalists were promising legal action even as they combed through the regulations' specifics.  "These changes crash a bulldozer through the Endangered Species Act's lifesaving protections for America's most vulnerable wildlife," said Noah Greenwald, the Center for Biological Diversity's endangered species director.  "For animals like wolverines and monarch butterflies, this could be the beginning of the end. We'll fight the Trump administration in court to block this rewrite, which only serves the oil industry and other polluters who see endangered species as pesky inconveniences."  Others pointed to the waves of die-offs happening around the world, which some scientists have called a mass extinction.  "The impacts of this action are bad enough on their own — but the decision also signals continued willful ignorance from the Trump administration about the looming impacts climate change will have on the American landscape," said Rebecca Riley, legal director for the nature program at the Natural Resources Defense Council.  "Many parts of the Endangered Species Act could be helpful in taking a more forward-looking perspective on climate impacts to wildlife, but that seems like an impossibility from this president," Riley said.
Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva, the Democratic chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, said these changes will only worsen the ongoing "mass extinction." Grijalva suggested he would use his panel to probe the changes.
"These rollbacks of the ESA are for one purpose only: more handouts to special interests that don't want to play by the rules and only want to line their pockets. This action by the Trump administration adds to their ongoing efforts to clear the way for oil and gas development without any regard for the destruction of wildlife and their habitats," said Grijalva.  "I have serious questions on whether inappropriate political influence was exerted over decisions that should be based on the best scientific information," he said.  Sen. Tom Udall (D-N.M.), ranking member of the spending subcommittee with jurisdiction over Interior, said Democrats would look for tools to undo the administration's action, including possible use of the Congressional Review Act.

As part of Florence recovery, NC could help your favorite beach pay for sand 

Freeman Park and Fort Fisher: Beach driving, but very different

Sand replenishment project at Virginia Beach Oceanfront reaches North End

Duck Council defers action on public beach access 

On track to build up beach, town also needs to build revenue (SC) 

Southern California’s Perfect Beaches Are Killing Wildlife 

Construction Continues in Flood Risk Areas 

COASTAL SURVEY - Researchers from East Carolina University and University of North Carolina Wilmington have collaborated to develop an online survey related to people's experiences during Hurricane Florence and their experiences living on the coast in North Carolina. The survey is part of a larger study on the impacts of shoreline management strategies. The results of this study will directly inform future coastal management, serve as a mechanism to educate homeowners on shoreline conservation and management strategies, and enable the development of long-term, cost-effective shoreline monitoring procedures that can be scaled up to state or region levels.

DUNE PLANTING UPDATE (home stretch = 3,800 feet to go)

Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

PKS board upholds $10K fine against homeowners 

Cape Point reopened; Ocracoke Inlet accessible

Pawleys Island leaders pick company for beach renourishment project

Town drops feds from beach project (SC) 

Is This Coastal County A Model For Addressing Climate Change For The Rest of America?

SC built 1,200 houses in flood-prone coastal areas. And sea levels keep rising

Town Asking Residents To Support Continued Beach Nourishment

Weeks Marine Returns to Buxton to Remove Remaining Offshore Subline 

Pawleys Island Council considers going it alone on beach renourishment project

Editorial: Help Beach plan for recurrent flooding

Law Shifts Recovery Funds to Topsail Towns

After Numerous Obstacles, Emergency Ferry Channel Slated to be Dredged in Early August

Shorebirds nest on a downtown Charleston rooftop as their natural beach habitat disappears 

ORRIN PILKEY: N.C. is building a coastal bridge to calamity

Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Council starts considering beach work without Corps (SC) 

NCDOT Gets OK for Short-Term Erosion Fix 

County ready to pursue 2 nourishment projects

North Carolina coastal flooding is worsening with climate change, population growth 

Beach renourishment news not so good (SC) 

SC’s Cape Island, key in sea turtle recovery, faces erosion and few management resources

Freeman Park daily pass sales resume 

High tides are getting higher. Here’s what that means for NC’s coastal communities

Island Flood Gauges Provide Real-Time Reporting for Residents 

Tybee Island renourishment taking shape, mayor says 

Officials report record number of nests 

Who owns the beach? The 1939 Wrightsville Beach Property Line gets updated state law

Corps cost-benefit study clouds beach project 

Freeman Park daily pass sales resume

Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Hatteras lighthouse may have to move again as Outer Banks shoreline continues shifting

Army Corps asks Brunswick beach towns to team up for beach renourishment, dredging study 

CRC to Discuss Challenge to Setback Rules 

With Hatteras Inlet Clear, Waterways Commission Focuses on Emergency Ferry Channel 

Sturgeon, America’s forgotten dinosaurs, slowly coming back

Carteret County Beach Commission Meeting Agenda
July 8, 2019; Emerald Isle Town Board Room, 2 pm

Math May Favor Buyout of North Topsail 

It would be cheaper to buy coastal homes than to keep fighting nature, new report says 

Bulkhead construction on Ocracoke to begin this month

Carolina Beach shutting down vehicle access to Freeman Park

Freeman Park woes

Carolina Beach placing several restrictions on Freeman Park passes, no more day passes offered 

Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Shore Protection Office Newsletter (as presented to the Island Review)
2019 Hurricane Season Preview 

After coastal towns complain about Resource Institute, lawmakers could rescind its $5 million windfall

SC running out of beach for loggerhead nests, a welcome sign for threatened turtle species  

State issues emergency permit to address shoreline erosion at Ocracoke ferry terminal 

The Rising Threat: Beachfront homeowner’s battle a preview of climate change issues to come 

Did original deeds give public access through private land in Duck? 

NCDOT plans measures to stop sound’s assault on ferry landing 

New rules could block pools at oceanfront homes in Corolla

Groin work complete on Pawleys Island Beach 

On Flood Control, The Dutch Are Masters 

Walls to hold sea rise would cost Charleston $1 billion, all of SC $20 billion, study says

Hurricane detectives comb archives for clues to storms past — and those to come

Town will push legislation to allow tax for beach work 

Duck hears comments on lack of beach accesses

SUPREME COURT: Compensation on land takings for beach upkeep allowed

Seaweed collector’s arrest in Rhode Island revives age-old debate on beach access; Massachusetts laws date to Mayflower days 

Hurricane Florence Lessons Underscore Need for the National Flood Insurance Program Reauthorization Act of 2019

Waterways Commission Makes Moves to Prepare for Emergency 

FEMA looks at flood insurance program changes 

SC got $1B in flood payments, but new data still won’t say if your home flooded 

State finds seismic testing inconsistent with coastal management policies 

New computer model system will help the National Weather Service make better predictions

Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Confrontation Stirs Beach Access Debate 

SC’s hazardous Breach Inlet deepened with hurricane relief money 

Even as Floods Worsen With Climate Change, Fewer People Insure Against Disaster

Currituck OBX dune protection proposal touches off debate

3 million-year-old oyster shell found on Folly Beach in wake of SC renourishment project 

New Buxton beach plan would start earlier, rehab jetties

Coastal North Carolina Town Warns Beachgoers About Access

Concerns Raised Over Access to Public Beaches in Galveston

The Oceanfront will get some renourishment, so expect to see heavy equipment

In Duck in the Outer Banks, the beaches are public, but the access is not. A Duck resident was arrested last week for trespassing 

Mapping For Future Floods

Calif. uses untested powers for 'managed retreat'
Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News reporter Published: Thursday, May 30, 2019
Before the threat of rising seas was widely understood, California created an agency to protect its famous beaches from overdevelopment. Now the state Coastal Commission is pouring resources into a war against the effects of climate change, and it could lead toward the removal of oceanfront homes.  That's raising questions about whether the commission is overstepping its authority, granted in the 1970s, as it confronts the emerging peril of sea-level rise.   The commission oversees development on 1,100 miles of coastal land. It possesses the partial power to approve or deny the construction of homes and hotels, an authority bestowed by the 1977 California Coastal Act. That law created the commission and directed it to preserve public access to beaches.  Scientists now say sea-level rise could wipe out two-thirds of state beaches by the turn of the century. Researchers with the U.S. Geological Survey and other scientists described rising oceans as a greater threat to the California economy than wildfires or extreme earthquakes, with effects hitting as soon as 2040 (Climatewire, March 14).  The commission, in response to the growing confidence of scientists, wants beach cities and counties to plan for climate impacts. One of its most controversial policies could force homeowners to abandon their seaside houses.  "The consequences of sea-level rise are so significant that we're putting a lot of resources into planning for what we call a slow-moving disaster," said Jack Ainsworth, executive director of the Coastal Commission, in an interview.  In addition to homes, at-risk infrastructure includes low-lying wastewater treatment facilities, pipelines, highways and railroads. When "you imagine the scale of that throughout California, it's huge," Ainsworth said. "All of that infrastructure is going to have to be moved out of harm's way."  Those powers are being tested for the first time. How much muscle the state can exert on homeowners and cities isn't yet clear, legal experts said.  "The limits of [the Coastal Commission's] authority have not been precisely tested in the courts," said Sean Hecht, co-executive director of the Emmett Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at UCLA School of Law. Legal questions include whether the agency can put limits on seawalls and how far it can go with other actions that could hurt the value of homes. "It’s a very sticky situation," he said. "We still don’t know in the end how courts will view these questions."  A fight over the commission's powers is coming soon. The agency plans to hold hearings in July on proposed language for managing sea-level rise in residential areas. It expects to adopt its "Residential Adaptation Guidance" by year's end. The most recent draft offers options that include "managed retreat," or removing homes so beaches can migrate inland rather than disappearing under the water.  That has triggered fierce opposition from local governments, homeowners and the real estate industry.  The California Association of Realtors described chaotic scenarios in which the commission "would force the removal and relocation of houses that are still habitable." The group also opposed the commission's suggestion that cities create hazard zones as a first step toward managed retreat.  "Zones will prematurely impose private property rights restrictions," Jeli Gavric, a legislative advocate for the California Association of Realtors, told the commission in a letter in April. "Zones will stigmatize properties and potentially make them uninsurable."  Cynthia Mills, with Presto Mortgage Co. in Pacifica, Calif., said putting homes in hazard zones could make it impossible to sell those house in the future.  "As soon as they put that [hazard zone] in writing, lenders are going to say we're not going to lend money to these properties because they're at risk of disappearing," Mills said. The managed retreat language could scare off banks and make it impossible for buyers to get a mortgage, she said.
'Put off the inevitable'
Behind the scenes, the commission is working to quell objections. It's looking at a public relations effort with the state's Ocean Protection Council to explain why it's taking such strong actions.  "Uncertainty and fear leads to anger. We seem to be the focus of the anger," said Ainsworth of the Coastal Commission. "We're not th
e enemy. It's sea-level rise and climate change, and that's the message I want to send out. We're trying to help local communities."  The commission is rewriting its draft guidance to use simpler language and "tell the story in a more compelling way," Ainsworth said.  Managed retreat isn't going away in the rewrite, he said, though he noted it's just one option. He also said the commission doesn't have the authority to force cities to remove private homes. That would require new legislation.  "It's really going to take some really brave local government officials to make some tough decisions," Ainsworth added. "I sure hope they do because [otherwise] you're just going to put off the inevitable. Nature's going to have its way in the end, and if we don't plan for it, it's just going to be disastrous, and it's going to cost us more in the long run."  A 1972 California ballot measure, Proposition 20, birthed the California Coastal Commission. It was in response to proposals for gated communities along the coastline, said Warner Chabot, who dropped out of college to run the ballot campaign. He's now executive director of the San Francisco Estuary Institute.  Proposition 20 asked the state Legislature to create the agency. Lawmakers passed the Coastal Act, which stipulated that the commission should ensure "maximum access ... and recreational opportunities" at the beach for all residents.  The Coastal Commission for many years focused on beach-access issues, like cracking down on wealthy homeowners who erected fences on public sands. Some Malibu residents hired security guards to chase off visitors, telling people erroneously that they were on private property.  Chabot said the actions of the commission today fit with the 1977 law.  "The original intent of the Coastal Act was to preserve and protect and maintain the integrity of the California coastline," Chabot said. When sea walls are built to protect homes, that eventually means "the beach disappears and the thousands of people who had access to that beach no longer have a beach."  While the Coastal Act doesn't deal specifically with sea-level rise, "it did speak to the whole idea of hazards from flooding, fire, geologic issues," Ainsworth said. "So it fits well with hazard mitigation planning in today's context with sea-level rise and climate change."  Beach cities and counties under the Coastal Act also get oversight, he said. They're supposed to draft local management plans, but the commission has battled cities over plans it claims didn't comply with state law.  Cities with approved plans largely decide about whether to issue development permits. The commission can challenge permits if it believes they're out of compliance with the Coastal Act.  Some lawyers argue that the commission is exceeding its mandate with its new residential adaptation language.  "The managed retreat policy appears to be a way in which the commission can take private property for public use without paying just compensation," said Larry Salzman, an attorney with the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), which has represented homeowners challenging the commission's decisions.  If the state wants to remove properties to let the beach migrate, it should do so under eminent domain, Salzman said. That would mean condemning them and paying fair market value, he said.
Seas are rising
The California agency is less subject to political pressures than other government bodies because it was created by a ballot measure and its job is "protecting the coast for the people, and not necessarily the coastal homeowners," said Gary Griggs, professor of earth and planetary sciences at the University of California, Santa Cruz.  Griggs said the preferred option used by many cities — dumping more sand on beaches to combat higher oceans — only works for short periods of time.  "The only long-term solution is going to be managed retreat," Griggs said. "That's just a really, really difficult undertaking, and we don't have a lot of examples to say here's how they did it here."  About a decade ago, the commission began looking seriously at sea-level rise and its impact on beach access, said Charles Lester, who was the commission's executive director from 2011 to 2016.  "By the time I became director, we'd been talking about the need to address climate change more aggressively," Lester said. "That's the first thing I did when I took over the agency was to begin pursuing that."  Lester obtained money from the state Legislature so cities and counties could study the local effects of sea-level rise. They started documenting that sea-level rise could wipe out some beaches by 2030 in winter months (Climatewire, July 21, 2017). That triggered new commission scrutiny.  "We've now been forced to confront, oh, this is going to happen," Lester said. For the commission, "the question is raised, what are you going to do about it?"  The Coastal Commission in 2015 developed its first-ever guidance to cities and counties on how to deal with sea-level rise. It said that cities and counties need to address sea-level rise in planning and permitting decisions.
More storms, more walls
The number of sea walls along California beaches, particularly in Southern California, rose sharply over the last few decades. In 1971, walls existed on roughly 7% of beaches in Ventura, Los Angeles, Orange and San Diego counties. That grew to 33% in 1998, and 38% last year, said Kiki Patsch, assistant professor of environmental science and resource management at California State University, Channel Islands.  That tracks with a shift toward more destructive storms in the Pacific Ocean after 1977. That likely triggered more requests for shoreline protection, she said.  Under Lester, the commission tightened up its policy on permitting sea walls. The agency now limits sea walls to homes that were built before 1977, when the Coastal Act took effect. Homes built before that year but that undergo major redevelopment are also considered new and must waive their right to a sea wall.  The Coastal Act doesn't unilaterally allow the commission to keep homeowners from protecting their houses built after the law was passed, said Arie Spangler, with the Jon Corn Law Firm in San Diego County. Spangler and other lawyers are fighting the commission's position that redeveloping a home built before 1977 makes it no longer eligible for a sea wall.  If the agency wants to make those moves, "they should try to get the Legislature to amend the Coastal Act," Spangler said.  Meanwhile, rising waters are shifting the Coastal Commission's authority, and likely queuing up more legal battles with wealthy homeowners, said Deborah Sivas, a professor of environmental law at Stanford University.  The state owns the land westward of the mean high-tide line, or generally where the wet sand starts. That line is moving inland with sea-level rise, she said.  "As the ocean moves landward, public access is supposed to move inland. Whose property is it going to squeeze out?" Sivas said.

Virginia Beach wants to require developers to factor in sea level rise for new projects

Season’s first turtle nest moved from beach construction zone 

Sand widening project at Oceanfront will start during peak tourist season in Virginia Beach 

Charleston Harbor dredging will help salt creep further into area rivers 


Army Corps To Dredge Carolina Beach Inlet More Often 

Exasperated Outer Banks town warns people to quit digging giant holes in the beach 

Beach panel settles on next project 

Bogue Banks Dune Restoration Projects Nearing Completion 

Nags Head beach construction to turn north within three days

Oak Island: major sand project lining up for winter 

Bigger dunes, vegetation and sandbags keep N.C. Hwy. 12 from crumbling during storms 

Did Florence help nesting shorebirds near Wilmington?

Charleston dealing with rapid rise in applications for raising homes


Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Shoaling at Rodanthe Harbor Emergency Channel Generates Concern at Waterways Commission Meeting 

SC Gov. McMaster vetoes special legislation to replace sea wall protecting 17 homes 

Pawleys Town Council continues search for funding strategies; beach renourishment moving forward 

Isle of Palms dredge disposal site gets new look following months of work 

Carteret County Beach Commission Meeting Agenda
May 20, 2019; Pine Knoll Shores Town Hall, 2 pm 

Finding $2 billion isn’t easy: Forum to focus on funding Charleston’s flood fixes

Veto DeBordieu sea wall (SC)

A proposed Outer Banks bridge to calamity 
Special exception in SC law could save 17 beach houses, but at what cost?

State coastal agency accepts comments on fifth request for review of federal consistency submission for seismic testing related to offshore oil and gas resource development 

Trump administration pushes ahead on seismic testing
Mike Soraghan, E&E News, May 10, 2019
The Trump administration says it won't delay seismic testing off the Eastern Seaboard, despite a court ruling that put on hold the plan for drilling there.  "That decision has no legal effect on any proposed seismic activities," Justice Department attorneys stated in a court filing yesterday.  The Trump administration has been working on a plan to open more than 90% of all federal waters to offshore drilling.  But Interior Secretary David Bernhardt put the plan on hold last month after a federal judge in Alaska tossed out Trump's executive order seeking to undo the Obama administration's ban on drilling off Alaska and a small part of the Atlantic coast (E&E News PM, April 25).  The U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina, which is hearing South Carolina's suit to block East Coast offshore drilling, then asked federal attorneys how Bernhardt's announcement would affect the case. In today's filing, the government said it "may authorize seismic survey activity in the [outer continental shelf] even in areas of the OCS that are not open to oil and gas exploration."  The South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce, the Southern Environmental Law Center and others involved in a legal challenge to Atlantic development accused the administration of misleading the public.  "We have the administration telling the public that drilling plans have been indefinitely delayed, while telling the court that they need to move ahead with harmful seismic testing immediately because all options are on the table," SELC's Nat Mund said in a statement. "Coastal states deserve a more truthful and transparent approach."  Interior's Bureau of Ocean Energy Management is currently considering seismic permit applications from at least five companies.

Vote set on flood insurance extension
Nick Sobczyk, E&E News, May 13, 2019
The House will vote this week to extend the National Flood Insurance Program until the end of the fiscal year, another sign lawmakers have again punted on reform talks.  The NFIP expires at the end of the month, and despite months of extra time to reach a deal on a reform package, the measure up for a vote under fast-track procedure this week would be the 11th short-term reauthorization in two years. The measure would extend the program until Sept. 30.  There are talks underway on both sides of Capitol Hill but few signs lawmakers are close to striking a long-term reauthorization deal for a program that advocates say is badly in need of reform.  Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said last week he's working with Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and John Kennedy (R-La.) on a reform bill. And House Financial Services Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) has drafted reform proposals and held a hearing on the NFIP to jump-start efforts on the other side of Capitol Hill.  Meanwhile, four bipartisan former Federal Emergency Management Agency administrators penned a letter to congressional leaders last week imploring lawmakers to make long-term changes to the program.  The group includes Obama-era FEMA chief Craig Fugate and Brock Long, who resigned the post earlier this year.  Among other things, they suggest a requirement that sellers disclose flood risk to potential homebuyers and a low-interest loan program to help buy out owners of properties that are repeatedly flooded.  Especially in a time when losses from natural disasters and flood events are ballooning, it doesn't make sense for the federal government to keep paying to rebuild in flood zones, they wrote.  "By incentivizing Americans to live in vulnerable areas without taking steps to mitigate the risk, the NFIP gives property owners a false sense of security," they wrote. "In the absence of reforms, costs in taxpayer dollars and lives lost will only get worse."

Carteret County Beach Commission Meeting Agenda
May 20, 2019; Pine Knoll Shores Town Hall, 2 pm

Solutions for sea level rise would change the face of Virginia Beach

Sand-haul dune work in Surf City stopped by DEQ’s discovery of 18 pebbles in sand

St. James endorses half-cent prepared meal tax legislation 

Failing septic systems foul SC homes and waterways, but solutions are costly 

DUNE PLANTING UPDATE (Dune Crest First - Dune Slope Second)
Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Tip of Cape Point Closes Due to Nesting Activity

Surf City dune, beach rebuilding done until fall 

Congress to punt on flood insurance reforms
Ariel Wittenberg and Nick Sobczyk, E&E News reporters,  May 8, 2019 
Congress is poised to once again punt on reforming the National Flood Insurance Program.  NFIP expires at the end of the month, and all indications point to Congress extending the program as is through the end of the fiscal year as part of a disaster spending bill.  That would be the 11th reauthorization of the program in two years. But lawmakers say they aren't exactly kicking the can down the road.  Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) said yesterday he is working with Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.) and John Kennedy (R-La.) on a bill to reform and reauthorize the program over the long term.  The group, Cassidy told a panel discussion hosted by Bloomberg Government, represents "bipartisan and two different regions to come up with solutions that would work."
Cassidy partnered with Gillibrand last Congress to sponsor a proposal, which included reforms like allowing more privatization of the insurance market and encouraging the use of high-resolution mapping techniques to develop rate maps (E&E Daily, April 27, 2017).  The House Financial Services Committee has also drafted a number of flood insurance-related bills and held a hearing on them in March (E&E Daily, March 14).  Still, it's unclear whether the past two years' conflicts on flood insurance will linger into the 116th Congress.  One reason to be optimistic is a February rule from federal financial regulators clarifying the role of private flood insurance, which has historically been the cause of divisions.  Under NFIP, banks can only give federally backed mortgages to homeowners living in the 100-year floodplain if they have flood insurance.  Since 2012, private policies that are "substantially similar" to NFIP ones have technically been allowed, but regulators have been slow to define that term.  NFIP reform legislation stalled last Congress as lawmakers sparred over language to allow state regulators to craft a definition. The language would have also eliminated the mandate that private policies be "at least as broad" as NFIP ones.
Association of State Floodplain Managers Executive Director Chad Berginnis said yesterday his group is not happy with the rule because it provides a loophole allowing banks to accept flood insurance policies that aren't equitable with NFIP's.  "We have serious concerns about that kind of exception in a rule that seems to directly contradict statute," he said during a briefing on NFIP for congressional staffers yesterday hosted by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute.  Berginnis' group fears the regulatory language will enable unaffordable deductibles on flood insurance policies.

Surf City beach restoration halted until fall, extension into sea turtle nesting season denied

High erosion risk for beaches in SC, Southeast troubling for turtles and birds, study says 

Dare County moves ahead in securing money for a dredge 

Town’s quest for beach easements may force condemnation (S.C.)  

Despite Objections, CRC OKs Port Expansion 

With flood insurance rates falling and risk increasing, Hampton Roads starts push to boost numbers

Coast Guard proposal would affect access to Cape Lookout National Seashore

Surf City halts dune restoration project before completion 

Sound and fury: Trump administration pushes forward on seismic mapping in Atlantic

Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Beach Nourishment Nearing Completion In Kure Beach 

Portions of North Myrtle Beach will be closed in May for beach renourishment project 

FEMA about to unveil Risk Rating 2.0 Flood Insurance details

Beach rebuilding will start Wednesday in South Nags Head 

Town focus on easements tops concern on funding beach project (SC) 

Trump administration hits pause on offshore oil plans after court ruling

Trump officials halt plans to expand offshore drilling

Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Judge rules Virginia Beach council can factor in sea level rise when deciding on new developments

Surf City acknowledges recent beach push exposes temporary dunes to erosion 

More big hurricanes are coming, and North Carolina needs to prepare, a new report says 

Hilton Head’s south end may get a new hotel. Here’s why the plans depend on FEMA

What is happening with the lake dredging project at Carolina Beach? As it turns out, not much right now.

Will sea-level rise make this $500 million bridge to the Outer Banks obsolete or essential? 

Sea walls or sand dunes? Federal agencies don't agree
Thomas Frank, E&E News reporter Published: Wednesday, April 24, 2019
The Army Corps of Engineers is objecting to a plan to vastly expand a federal environmental protection zone along the East Coast, warning that it could "increase the threats to life, safety and property."  The Army Corps issued its warning in a three-page letter last week to the Fish and Wildlife Service, which is considering adding 141,000 acres to the coastal zone across five states. Development restrictions in the zone make it difficult for the Army Corps to build protective structures such as sea walls and levees and to replenish eroded beaches.  The Army Corps' objections reveal an unusual dispute between two federal agencies with a common goal — protecting coastal communities — but vastly different approaches.  The Army Corps, an agency in the Defense Department, is the nation's chief builder of "hard structures" aimed at protecting against the effects of climate change. FWS, which is part of the Interior Department, is seeking to expand coastal conservation areas to help protect species and habitat and to let natural formations such as marshes and barrier islands absorb storm surges.  
A long list of environmental groups and state agencies have lined up in support of the FWS proposal, which they say will provide stronger protection against sea-level rise than structures built by the Army Corps.  "Sea walls are not a guarantee of safety. Development increases because levees provide a false sense of safety," said Joel Scata, an attorney with the Natural Resources Defense Council. "From our perspective, the best way to protect an area is not to locate people in harm's way in the first place."  Other groups supporting Fish and Wildlife include the National Audubon Society, Environmental Defense Fund, Nature Conservancy, National Wildlife Refuge Association and Pew Charitable Trusts; regional groups such as the Chesapeake Bay Foundation and the Connecticut Fund for the Environment; and government agencies including the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection.
The dispute centers on the Coastal Barrier Resources System, a politically popular program created in 1982 that encompasses much of the East Coast and Gulf Coast shorelines. It also covers patches on the shores of all five Great Lakes and in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The program, which has grown from 450,000 acres at its inception to 3.5 million acres, does not prohibit development but discourages any construction by making areas inside the coastal system ineligible for most federal money and programs.  The restrictions mean that the Army Corps generally cannot build inside the coastal system. States and municipalities are free to put up levees, sand dunes and beach groins with their own money but usually cannot afford the costs, the Army Corps said in its letter to the Fish and Wildlife Service.  
FWS is proposing to add the new acres in Connecticut, Maryland, New York, Rhode Island and Virginia. Only 5,000 of those acres are land — the rest are wetlands and open water — but nearly half of the land is on the south shore of Long Island encompassing the Hamptons and some of the most valuable real estate in the United States.  The Army Corps is looking at doing work along the Long Island coast from Fire Island — a 31-mile-long barrier island about 50 miles east of Manhattan — to Montauk Point at the eastern tip of Long Island.  Expanding the coastal barrier system "may preclude" communities from implementing "the most effective coastal-storm risk management measures," the Army Corps said, referring to hard structures. "The addition of more acreage to the system has the potential to increase the threats to life, safety and property damage along our coasts, making our communities more vulnerable."  Bill Lucey of the Connecticut Fund for the Environment said that instead of fortifying the Long Island and Connecticut coasts, the federal government should expand marshlands to accommodate wildlife, soak up nutrients and pollutants, and block storm surges.  "We have to keep the Long Island Sound ecology intact. We just can't have a body of water surrounded by concrete," said Lucey, who focuses on the body of water between Connecticut and Long Island. "That will heavily reduce stopover areas for migrating shorebirds and beaches where horseshoe crabs can spawn. Estuaries are fantastic places to process excess nitrogen and suck out heavy metals and cleaning the water."
The Army Corps made its objection in an April 16 letter that it submitted to FWS after the agency solicited public comments on the proposed coastal zone expansion.  The expansion project began shortly after Superstorm Sandy, which killed 72 people in the United States and caused $65 billion in domestic damage when it lashed the East Coast in 2012. The Interior Department directed FWS to analyze the coastal barrier system and suggest areas that should be added or removed in the nine states hit by Sandy.  In March 2018, Fish and Wildlife proposed adding 275,000 acres to the coastal zone in Delaware, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and New Jersey. The Army Corps protested that proposal along with New Jersey and several Jersey shore communities, all of which said it would interfere with beach replenishment projects (Climatewire, March 25).  Congress must approve any changes to the coastal system's boundaries. FWS expects to give Congress its proposed revisions in the nine states in 2020.

Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

When coastal hazards threaten your Outer Banks trip 

Ports granted variance for Cape Fear River turning basin 

PUBLIC NOTICE - The Wilmington District, Corps of Engineers (Corps) received an application from the North Carolina State Ports Authority (NC SPA) seeking Department of the Army authorization to reauthorize an existing permit, associated with maintenance dredging within waters adjacent to the Port of Morehead City dock and berth areas, in Carteret County, North Carolina. 

Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Town faces first deadline for beach work (SC) 

Coastal erosion specialist on Surf City’s $300,000 beach push: ‘emotional benefit’ but little improvement

3,000 FEET TO GO
Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Outer Banks beach becomes moonscape when ‘unusually large’ formations appear in sand 

Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I) 

Couple sues for right to rebuild Outer Banks house where beach erodes 6 feet a year 

Hunting Island visitors could see beach changes by the end of the year 

Ports Authority Set to Appeal Permit Denial 

Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Groups appeal state permit for DeBordieu groins (SC) 

Crews Restore South Carolina Beaches After Storms

As Bonner Bridge Comes Down Navigation Through Oregon Inlet is Shifting 

Schumer vows to fight FEMA flood plan
Thomas Frank, E&E News, April 12, 2019
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer called on the Federal Emergency Management Agency to halt revisions to the flood insurance program that could result in millions of homeowners seeing their premiums rise or fall.  Schumer, a Democrat from New York, said the changes "could outright soak" residents of Long Island, N.Y., by increasing the premiums they pay through the National Flood Insurance Program and decreasing their property values.  "We cannot try to prop up the program on the backs of Long Islanders, who, under this plan, would likely become the bullseye of back-breaking costs," Schumer said in a statement.  Schumer is the highest-profile member of Congress to voice concerns about a plan FEMA announced in March to adjust premiums for many of the 3.5 million homeowners insured under the NFIP by gauging more accurately each home's flood risk and value. Rates will not be revised for the 1.6 million NFIP policyholders who own multifamily homes, condominium units or nonresidential property.  The revision, called Risk Rating 2.0, also will set premiums according to the cost to rebuild a home instead of using a home's value, which is current policy. The plan will "aim to deliver more equitable rates for owners of lower-value homes," FEMA says, while raising premiums for higher-value houses.  The two counties that make up Long Island — Nassau and Suffolk — have some of the highest home values in the nation, according to the National Association of Realtors. The average home value is $518,794 in Nassau, which ranks 47th out of 3,200 counties, and $417,873 in Suffolk, which ranks 81st.
Schumer also criticized FEMA for bypassing Congress and providing little public information about Risk Rating 2.0 beyond a 221-word statement on its website. "It is an outright joke for the administration to think that they can propose major reforms on how we pay for flood insurance, and how it impacts property values on Long Island, without presenting its plan and answering a litany of questions by Congress," Schumer said during a media event on Long Island on April 1.  FEMA has portrayed Risk Rating 2.0 as an administrative action that involves augmenting the factors it considers in assessing a home's flood risk to include various inundations such as heavy rainfall and river overflow and measuring the precise distance between a home and the nearest flood source. It does not involve the type of program overhaul that Congress approved in 2012 and 2014.  FEMA Deputy Associate Administrator David Maurstad, who oversees the NFIP, has said the program aims to encourage more homeowners to buy flood insurance by making it easier for them to understand their flood risk.
Other lawmakers have reacted cautiously to Risk Rating 2.0. Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) told The Times-Picayune of New Orleans in March that the revision "needs to accurately account for local flood-protection structures when determining the risk profile for homes."  A spokesman for House Republican Whip Steve Scalise, who represents most of southeastern Louisiana and has been closely involved in flood insurance oversight, told the news outlet that Scalise "would be strongly opposed to efforts by FEMA that would result in massive rate shocks that would decimate communities in south Louisiana and harm families and small businesses."  In addition to raising insurance rates on expensive homes, Risk Rating 2.0 is expected to increase premiums for most flood-prone neighborhoods. Higher flood insurance costs could reduce a property's value by signaling to potential buyers that a house has a high flood risk.  Schumer's concerns were echoed by four elected officials from Nassau County. Chumi Diamond, president of the City Council in Long Beach, which experiences frequent flooding, said increasing insurance premiums "could make living in Long Beach unaffordable."  Maurstad told journalists last month that "some people's rates will increase. Others' rates will decrease. We don't know what that will look like at this time." New rates are scheduled to take effect Oct. 1, 2020.

Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

North Myrtle Beach’s last remnant dunes now focus of a new preservation push 

Coastal homes aren't ready for climate change — study
Daniel Cusick, E&E News, April 9, 2019
Coastal property owners are failing to take even basic steps to protect their homes against sea-level rise and hurricanes, even as climate change increases the risk that coastal homes will be damaged by rising tides and storm surges, according to new research.  The study from the University of Notre Dame, published in the journal Climatic Change, also found that disaster preparedness research on the "structural vulnerabilities" of coastal homes is scarce.  It suggested more attention should be paid to simple, often voluntary measures that homeowners can take to mitigate against future damage from climate events.  "Absent strict, enforceable regulations mandating retrofitting of existing homes or major changes in homeowner insurance requirements, coastal resilience in a changing climate will largely reflect private, voluntary decisions of millions of individuals," the researchers found.
The findings are based on a pilot study conducted in New Hanover County, N.C., which has one of the most exposed shorelines on the Atlantic Coast, according to Tracy Kijewski-Correa, one of the study's lead investigators and an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and earth sciences at Notre Dame.  Researchers surveyed 662 owners of coastal properties in and around Wrightsville Beach, N.C., one of the most densely developed shorelines on the south Atlantic coast. The survey boundary did not extend into urban areas like Wilmington or other riverine communities that were badly flooded during Hurricane Florence.  Yet even among these properties most exposed to hurricanes, researchers found that, on average, homes are "minimally protected" against climate risks. Moreover, homeowners had taken "few actions to address the structural vulnerabilities" of their properties, and many were not considering taking action in the future.  Researchers found that more than a third of all surveyed property owners "have not taken a single action to improve their home's resilience." Between 30% and 50% did not know the impact ratings for their homes' doors and windows, critical information to determining a property's ability to withstand airborne debris.  "Even with all the learning we've had [from previous storms], people do not take voluntary precautions," Kijewski-Correa said in an interview. "If it's mandated, it's going to get done. But anything beyond that, what we call 'code-plus,' is for the most part not happening."  
She described the surveyed area as "a microcosm" of other coastal communities along the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico, stressing that more research needs to be done on how coastal property owners perceive climate risk and what steps, if any, they are taking to protect their homes against future storms.  "As climate changes, coastal homeowners are potentially crucial actors in reducing the risks to property and human life from rising seas and increased hurricane activity," the researchers said.  In addition to questions about mitigation, the survey asked homeowners about their hurricane and flood experiences, home valuation, insurance, and sociopolitical attitudes and opinions. Kijewski-Correa said that the study found little correlation between these factors and homeowners' mitigation efforts.  Researchers also said that "the perceived cost of mitigation cannot sufficiently explain the lack of action, implying that other factors are at play."  The study was done in collaboration with the Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety and was funded by the Notre Dame Environmental Change Initiative, Notre Dame Global Adaptation Initiative and Andrew W. Mellon Foundation.

Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Sandbridge Beach and dunes to be renourished 

Editorial: Dredging for port should be priority

Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Some changes are on tap for half-cent meals tax bill 


Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Coast Guard: Carolina Beach Inlet too shallow for safe travel

New Hanover County to begin dredging Carolina Beach Inlet after Coast Guard calls waters unsafe

Port of Wilmington appeals denial of turning basin expansion

Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Development rules near inlets have been basically the same since 1981. This year that could change 

Recent full-moon tide and northeaster eroded some of Surf City’s recently restored dunes 

Folly Beach land swap raises concerns about city’s environmental lawsuit

 - Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Flood insurance update likely to impact Louisiana residents 

NCDOT releases sea level rise assessment for Cape Fear Crossing

Bogue Banks Sand Project Nears Final Leg 

Nourishment project progresses

 - Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Oregon Inlet: ‘It needs a jetty’

Council Hears Beach Nourishment Project Update 

Sand fight sparked by big conservation plan for beaches
Thomas Frank, E&E News, Monday, March 25, 2019
A Trump administration proposal to vastly expand federal conservation land along the East Coast is facing protests from states and communities that say the plan will damage tourism industries that are still recovering from Superstorm Sandy in 2012.  The dispute is unfolding from Maryland to Massachusetts as officials and homeowners object to a plan by the Fish and Wildlife Service to add 275,000 acres to a federal protection zone. It's one of the largest expansions of the Coastal Barrier Resources System in its 37-year history.  The expansion will strengthen the East Coast's "resiliency and sustainability" following Sandy, which killed 72 people in the U.S. and caused $65 billion in domestic damage, the agency says.
The epicenter of the battle is the New Jersey shore, where expanded conservation areas would interfere with beach replenishment and protection projects essential to sustaining the legendary tourist destination, state and local officials say.  "New Jersey generates billions of dollars from tourism and property values. Everybody benefits from this," said Scott Wahl, Avalon Borough's business administrator, referring to beach-refilling projects in his southern New Jersey seaside community. "This is not to benefit a bunch of rich people who live along the shore."  The controversy recently drew in Rep. Jeff Van Drew, a Democrat representing southern New Jersey. He wrote a letter March 14 imploring FWS to let shore communities continue to dredge sand from a federal conservation area to refill nearby beaches that are constantly eroded by tides.  Environmental advocates are pushing back with warnings about the possible ecological damage from beach replenishment projects that they call "sand mining."
"These sand removals have an impact on fish habitat, fisheries that depend on the habitat and wildlife," said Karen Hyun, head of coastal conservation for the National Audubon Society and a former senior FWS official. The Audubon Society released a study last week saying the protection zones have saved federal taxpayers $9.5 billion in disaster aid by keeping coastal areas clear of buildings, roads and infrastructure.  David Conrad of the Association of State Floodplain Managers, which supports the proposed expansion, said it will conserve flood-prone land.  The dispute centers on the federal Coastal Barrier Resources System, a politically popular program that aims to limit development in environmentally sensitive coastal areas that provide fish and wildlife habitat and protect inland communities against storm surges. Created in 1982, the coastal system has grown to include 3.5 million acres, mostly along the East and Gulf coasts, but also in patches along the shores of all five Great Lakes and in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The program does not prohibit development but discourages it by making areas inside the coastal system ineligible for most federal money and programs.  On the Jersey Shore, residents and officials fear losing support of one critical federal agency: the Army Corps of Engineers, which does beach restoration and protection projects around the nation.  The Army Corps has been helping rebuild and protect New Jersey's vulnerable coastline since the 1960s, said Patrick Rosenello, the mayor of North Wildwood, a coastal city of 4,000 people whose population surges to 69,000 in the summer. Project costs are typically split among the Army Corps, the state and a municipality.  In 2005, the Army Corps built a sea wall stretching a mile and a half along North Wildwood's beach and agreed to make storm-related repairs for 50 years. The sea wall runs north-south along the Atlantic coast. At the city's northern edge, it curves inland and abuts a shallow inlet that sits inside a section of the Coastal Barrier Resources System known as NJ-09.  In March 2018, FWS published a map showing that it planned to expand NJ-09 slightly to include the area containing the sea wall. The minor shift has major implications.
"This expansion would take the Army Corps of Engineers out of their role of helping to maintain their project," Rosenello said.  Rosenello and two neighboring mayors wrote to FWS in July urging revisions to NJ-09 that would let the Army Corps repair North Wildwood's sea wall and take sand from the protected inlet to restore beaches of Avalon and Stone Harbor Borough.  Avalon and Stone Harbor would remain outside NJ-09 under the proposed expansion. But they fear that if the Army Corps cannot use sand from next-door Hereford Inlet for beach restoration, the agency would have to dredge sand from an unprotected inlet several miles away, costing millions of dollars more.  "There are several million cubic yards of sand sitting unused in Hereford Inlet that can and should be used for resiliency and protection of lives and property," said Wahl, the Avalon business administrator. Avalon, North Wildwood and Stone Harbor are major attractions in Cape May County, where tourism accounts for nearly half of the jobs, generates $6.4 billion in sales and boosts the population from 94,000 to 750,000 in the summer, according to the New Jersey Division of Travel and Tourism.  FWS said in an email to E&E News that it is "considering modifying" its proposed expansion of NJ-09 "to ensure that the existing structure [sea wall] is not included."
The Army Corps and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection have joined in objecting to the FWS proposal to expand federal protection zones across the New Jersey coast. "We cannot support the expansion," the department said in a 20-page letter to the agency in July, citing potential harm to the state's tourism and shellfish industries as well as to planned road construction projects.  Stewart Farrell, director of the Coastal Research Center at Stockton University in New Jersey and a consultant to local communities, said that barring federal money from being spent on beach restoration deviates from the intent of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act. "They didn't want federal dollars to encourage development. But this is not encouraging development. It's protecting what's already there," Farrell said.  Elsewhere on the East Coast, state and local officials from Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts and New York have objected to segments of the plan that affect tourist destinations such as Fire Island, N.Y., and Provincetown, Mass.  Supporters include the Natural Resources Defense Council, the Association of State Floodplain Managers and the Audubon Society. They note that communities could continue to replenish their beaches without federal money.  "It's putting the onus on state and local government," said Hyun of the Audubon Society.
The expansion project began one year after Superstorm Sandy, when the Interior Department, which oversees FWS, gave the agency $5 million to review the federal protection zones in the nine states most directly affected. Those states are Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island and Virginia.  The review is part of a broader, long-term project ordered by Congress in 2006 to analyze the entire Coastal Barrier Resources System, suggest areas that should be added or removed, and correct errors in the maps that define the protection zones. Congress must approve any changes to the system's geographic boundaries.  FWS told E&E News that it expects to propose the revisions to Congress in 2020.  Wahl of Avalon and Rosenello of North Wildwood said that if Congress approves the expansion of NJ-09, they will take their fight to federal court.


Prep for beach re-nourishment in Nags Head to start soon 

DCM Denies Permit for Port Project 

Low-key rollout brings big change to flood rates
Thomas Frank, E&E News, March 21, 2019
A Trump administration plan to refine how it calculates flood risk to homes in the federal flood insurance program is drawing praise from environmental advocates who say the revisions will make the ratings more accurate.  The administration's "Risk Rating 2.0" plan will affect insurance rates for 3.5 million single-family homeowners who buy coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program starting in October 2020, though it's unclear whose rates will rise and whose will fall.  The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which runs the program, hopes its plan will address the long-standing problem of millions of at-risk homeowners lacking flood insurance. FEMA Deputy Associate Administrator David Maurstad said the plan will help homeowners "better understand their flood risk" and encourage them to buy flood insurance.  "We will have more insured survivors, and that means less disaster suffering," Maurstad told a small group of reporters in a conference call Monday.
Rob Moore, a policy analyst with the Natural Resources Defense Council, applauded the plan and said it would align insurance premiums more closely with flood risk. "This is an important action for making the flood insurance program based on a clearer picture of reality," Moore said.  Under Risk Rating 2.0, FEMA will augment the risk factors it considers in assessing individual properties to include various types of floods — heavy rainfall, river overflow and coastal surge — and the distance between a home and a river, lake or ocean. FEMA also will consider the replacement cost of a home instead of its assessed value, which will likely decrease insurance rates for less-expensive homes and increase rates for pricier residences.  "Leveraging these variables, the new rating plan will help customers better understand their flood risk and provide them with more accurate rates based on their unique risk," Maurstad said.
Federal flood insurance rates are now based largely on a few limited factors, such as a home's elevation above a floodplain, and its size and construction, such as whether it has a basement, Moore said.  "There's not a lot of nuance as far as types of floods," Moore said. "There's no distinction between a coastal or inland property, even though if you look at where flood damage occurs, it matters."  FEMA will spend the next year establishing new rates for policyholders in single-family homes and will publish them by April 1, 2020. New rates will take effect Oct. 1, 2020.  Rates will not be revised for the 1.6 million NFIP policyholders who own multifamily homes, condominium units or nonresidential property. Federal law limits how much an individual policyholder's rates can increase in a single year.  Risk Rating 2.0 comes as Congress recently began debating a major overhaul to the flood program, to reduce costs for low-income policyholders, improve the precision of flood maps and make the program actuarially sound. NFIP owes the U.S. Treasury $20.5 billion that it was forced to borrow starting in 2005 because the cost of catastrophic hurricanes far exceeded its revenue from insurance premiums.  Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee, which oversees NFIP, recently proposed forgiving the $20.5 billion debt.  FEMA's release of Risk Rating 2.0 appeared to be a quiet signal to Congress that the agency will try to address some of NFIP's problems. Although Maurstad indicated that the plan had major significance — he said it would "change the insurance rating structure that hasn't been changed since the 1970s" — the announcement was low-key.  FEMA provided no written materials and has posted on its website only a five-paragraph announcement, which says the plan will "improve the policyholder experience and better reflect industry best practices."

(2nd Dredge)Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Government Overhaul of National Flood Insurance Cheered by Climate Resilience Experts 

Couple sues for right to rebuild Nags Head beachfront home 

Analysis: Support For Terminal Groins Erodes 

Bills Would Extend Towns’ Marine Authority 

Revenues from post-Hurricane Katrina, Rita offshore drilling projects fall short

Lawmakers may reduce sand dune protections as hurricane threat unabated (Ga)


REACH 3 COMPLETE - REACH 2 STARTED - Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Southern Shores to hear views on widening 3 miles of beach

SC’s flood insurance rates could see massive change with new FEMA program

County: Nourishment project on track to be complete by Easter

REACH 3 ALMOST COMPLETE - Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

With Three Dredging Projects at Hatteras Inlet, Commission Examines Issues at Oregon Inlet, Other Sites 

DHEC board denies challenge to groin project at DeBordieu beach

Georgia lawmakers look to change rules of beach development 

In photos: Carolina Beach re-nourishment project underway 

'This program is sick.' Fight brews over flood insurance
Thomas Frank, E&E News Thursday, March 14, 2019
Efforts in Congress to overhaul an embattled insurance program that covers millions of properties against flood damage were jolted yesterday by a plan to make taxpayers pay $20 billion in cost overruns.  The proposal by Rep. Maxine Waters (D-Calif.), chairwoman of the Financial Services Committee, was instantly attacked by Republicans, setting up tense negotiations over renewing the program as chronic flooding is exacerbated by climate change.  Despite unanimous agreement that the National Flood Insurance Program needs revision, the problems and potential solutions are so varied that Congress has failed for more than four years to help it avoid financial losses and steer development out of flood-prone areas. Although the program primarily insures against floods, it also reduces damage to property through mitigation programs and flood mapping.  "This program is sick," Rep. Sean Duffy (R-Wis.) said at a hearing yesterday by the Financial Services Committee. Duffy's 2017 reform bill, which sought to encourage more private insurers to write flood policies, passed the House but stalled in the Senate.  Waters is taking a different approach that stresses containing insurance rates, strengthening flood mitigation and improving FEMA's ongoing work at drawing new maps that define the nation's flood zones. And Waters wants to start by forgiving the $20.5 billion debt the insurance program began accumulating when massive hurricanes forced it to pay unprecedented claims, beginning with Katrina in 2005.  "We must do more to address unaffordable premium costs for low-income households [and] address the program's debt, which is unfairly burdening policyholders with millions of dollars in interest," Waters said yesterday. The program has paid $4.2 billion in interest on its debt to the Treasury Department since 2005, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which runs NFIP. The program was self-sustaining until 2005.
Debt forgiveness promises to be controversial because Congress and the White House canceled $16 billion of the insurance program's debt in October 2017 after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria caused billions of dollars of flood damage in Texas, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-Mo.) said that writing off the debt is "bad policy and shortsighted" because it "does not solve the root causes of insolvency."  The ranking Republican on the Financial Services Committee, Patrick McHenry of North Carolina, criticized Waters' proposal for forgiving "$20 billion without any assurance or necessary reforms that give us some understanding that it wouldn't just pile up again."  But another Republican, Rep. Garret Graves, who represents a flood-prone district in southern Louisiana, noted that Congress allocated $120 billion in disaster aid to help victims of the 2017 hurricanes, many of whom did not have flood insurance. "We can't just look at the balance of the debt," said Graves, the ranking member of the Select Committee on the Climate Crisis (Climatewire, March 11).  The insurance program covers 5.1 million properties and is the nation's primary flood insurer. Homeowners' insurance policies generally do not cover flood damage.
One of Waters' boldest proposals would take a step toward providing premium discounts to low-income policyholders, who are heavily concentrated in some high-risk flood zones. Many policyholders receive federal subsidies if they live in homes built before 1975 or in homes that were recently declared to be in a high-risk flood zone.  Waters' proposal would for the first time establish subsidies based on a policyholders' income. That received support from the conservative R Street Institute, which advocates for free markets.  R.J. Lehmann, the institute's director of insurance, praised Waters and said her idea is "the first substantial policy proposal" to address the affordability of federal flood insurance. Policies cost an average of $699 a year, according to FEMA, but vary widely, particularly in high-risk areas in which many low-income individuals and families live.  Current subsidies "disproportionately benefit wealthier areas," Lehmann said. Subsidizing low-income policyholders — those making less than 80 percent of an area's median household income — is "crucial" to phasing out other subsidies, Lehmann said.   Waters proposed providing subsidies to low-income policyholders for five years to test whether they induce more property owners to buy flood insurance.
Waters also would modernize how FEMA draws new flood zones by requiring the agency to use the most advanced technology and to produce heavily detailed maps.  Flood-mapping expert Velma Smith of the Pew Charitable Trusts research organization testified yesterday that spending on new maps "has been far from adequate" and that many rural areas "lack even the most basic information about [flood] risks." That could lead communities to allow construction unwittingly in high-risk flood zones, Smith said.  The insurance program's legal authority expires on May 31, 2019. The deadline will force Congress to enact reform by then or to simply pass a one-page bill extending the program for a period of months without making any changes. Congress has passed such reauthorizations 10 times since the end of 2017.

PROJECT UPDATE (with "after dredge" Photos of beach) - Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

ENC beaches ‘slowly self-healing’ following Florence damages 

Beach renourishment underway along several Crystal Coast beaches 

Topsail Towns Prioritize Storm Projects

Bald Head Renourishment Project Nears End

Owner of giant 24-bedroom Outer Banks house drops lawsuit as it sits empty 

Opening ‘a can or worms’? NC committee backs letting some schools start the year earlier 

Update (w/ NEW DUNE CONSTRUCTION SCHEMATIC) - Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

PROJECT START (with Photos) - Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Sanderson files bill to revive dredging referendum

Bald Head Island Beach Renourishment Begins; Demonstrates Long-Term Terminal Groin Success

OBX town of Duck looks to the mountains for help with coastal flooding
OFFSHORE DRILLING - Interior gives lawmakers no guarantees on 5-year plan
Kellie Lunney and Jennifer Yachnin, E&E News reporters, March 7, 2019
The acting director of the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management yesterday told House lawmakers the agency would release "in the coming weeks" its revised proposed five-year offshore drilling plan to open up more than 90 percent of federal waters to oil and gas leasing.  Natural Resources Committee Democrats couldn't pin down Walter Cruickshank on a specific date for the second rollout of the highly anticipated proposal, which once released will enter a 90-day public comment period.  Lawmakers also couldn't get him to say which states — if any — ultimately will be excluded from the 2019-2024 outer continental shelf plan to put the Atlantic, Pacific and Arctic oceans in play for potential drilling.  "How much longer and what needs to happen before we make a final determination that Florida will be either in or out of this plan given that the entire Florida delegation opposes it?" Florida Democratic Rep. Darren Soto asked Cruickshank during an Energy and Mineral Resources Subcommittee hearing.  "Where we are in the process right now, congressman, is we are finalizing the analysis of the schedule that was in the draft proposed program, providing that analysis and the comments received from the public, from governors, from the congressional delegation to the acting secretary so that he can make his decisions on what to include in the proposed program," the BOEM acting director said, noting the "rather drawn-out process" dictated by the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.
That next proposal will trigger more analysis and public feedback before it heads back to the Interior secretary for final recommendations. "All of that needs to happen before there is a final program put into place," Cruickshank said.  California Democratic Reps. Jared Huffman and Mike Levin had similar exchanges with Cruickshank, noting their state's robust opposition to being included in the proposal.  "Was the message received?" Huffman asked, referring to the Golden State's rejection of the administration's offshore drilling proposal.  "The message was certainly received, and comments have been shared with the department's leadership," Cruickshank said, adding that the law outlines several criteria for offshore drilling plans, including public feedback. "Public input certainly informs those factors but, by law, is not and cannot be the only thing we consider," he said.  Huffman said the committee yesterday received initial documents it had requested from BOEM last month related to communication between the Interior Department and then-Florida Gov. Rick Scott's (R) office regarding then-Secretary Ryan Zinke's Jan. 9, 2018, visit (E&E Daily, March 4).  After that visit, Zinke tweeted he was "taking #Florida off the table for offshore oil and gas" and the department's proposed offshore drilling plan, which kick-started a series of confusing comments about the matter and prompted many coastal states to demand an exemption from the plan.  Cruickshank agreed to come back before the committee to discuss those documents once they've all been handed over to the panel and analyzed.  Republicans, including Louisiana's Garret Graves and Arizona's Paul Gosar, criticized Democrats for their opposition to oil and gas drilling when those revenues have largely funded conservation programs across the country (E&E Daily, March 5).

'No one picked up'
BOEM wasn't the only Interior agency in the spotlight during the subcommittee hearing.  Chairman Alan Lowenthal (D-Calif.) blasted Scott Angelle, director of the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement, for not showing up to the hearing.  Doug Morris, the agency's chief of offshore regulatory programs, said Angelle asked him to testify. Morris and Cruickshank are both career employees, who, as Lowenthal noted, are not responsible for setting the policy agenda across their respective agencies.  "It's particularly shameful to see political leadership hide behind career employees," the Democrat said, mentioning that Zinke had once referred to "30 percent" of the department as not "loyal to the flag" (Greenwire, Sept. 26, 2017).  Lowenthal and full committee Chairman Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) yesterday sent a letter to Interior acting Secretary David Bernhardt requesting phone records for Angelle, the second such request Democrats have made.  Angelle in 2017 spoke to a group of energy companies, gave them his cellphone number and said: "I'd rather you call me. Everything you text me is a public record, so be careful. ... Everything that you send me in email is a public record. ... This is a business opportunity to engage with me on what you believe we ought to be about," according to the Democrats' letter.  Lowenthal said he called that cellphone number this afternoon to ask Angelle why he wasn't testifying.
"And after ringing and ringing, no one picked up," he said. It's not clear Angelle still has the same mobile number as he did during the 2017 conference.  Morris said he believed that Angelle was in the office yesterday when Lowenthal asked his whereabouts.  "Director, if you're watching this program, we request that the next time you're asked to come, that you do your job and you come before the committee," Lowenthal said.  Democrats also invited James Reilly, director of the U.S. Geological Survey, to testify yesterday, but he declined.

Well-control rule
Lawmakers also grilled Morris over regulations implemented after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill designed to increase offshore drilling safety protocols for owners and operators. Interior has granted roughly 1,700 exemptions to the regulations since 2016, which Politico first reported last week.  Both committee Democrats and Republicans focused on "waivers" in their questions to Morris.  Republican Kevin Hern of Oklahoma said the number of exemptions since 2016 — many of them requested during the Obama administration — demonstrated how burdensome the regulations are.  But Democrats faulted BSEE for allowing multiple exemptions.  "We were absolutely devastated by the BP oil spill in Florida," said Soto, adding that "it has dumbfounded our entire delegation after we put these rules in place, and they had bipartisan support, that we see them shredded to Swiss cheese."  Morris took issue with the term "waivers," instead defining the actions as "alternative compliance."  "It gives operators flexibility to use something that's better," Morris said. "If it's a newer standard, if it's an international standard, that provision allows them to use that. And it changes what's essentially a very prescriptive requirement to more performance-based."

NEW UPDATE (Project scheduled to start on Friday, 3/8/19) - Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Local Taxes Could Fund Storm Repairs, Inlets 

Dredging for Georgetown port leads discussion on penny tax

Great Lakes to begin beach nourishment project Friday 

Beach nourishment waste

CRC Advances New Inlet Hazard Maps, Rules 

Environmental groups oppose beach renourishment plan for Georgetown County’s DeBordieu Island 

Sorting out beach renourishment miscommunication between FEMA, Surf City, and private contractor 

NEWS RELEASE - Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management and Carteret County, NC, Sign Agreement to Restore Bogue Banks Beaches Impacted by Hurricane Florence

Sand being moved from Morehead City to other beaches for nourishment project

NEW UPDATE w/ Pictures (2/26/19) - Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)
Subline Installed

Push On to Change Sand Rule Interpretation

GLDD Getting Ready for the Post Florence Renourishment Project

NEW UPDATE w/ Pictures (2/25/19) - Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

CoastLine: Sea Level Rise Will Eventually Overtake NC Barrier Islands

Rural coastal residents along the Chesapeake Bay overlooked in sea level rise impacts, solutions

Another piece of Outer Banks history being claimed by rising seas. Can it be saved?

A French beach cleared of homes shows NC the way

NEW UPDATE (2/20/19) - Post-Florence Renourishment Project (Phase I)

Lawmakers: Local calendar control may snag in Senate

NC county considering new tax on prepared foods, beverages 

Flood panel can't meet under Trump; 16 of 20 seats empty
Daniel Cusick, E&E News reporter Published: Tuesday, February 19, 2019
A federal advisory panel that's supposed to provide scientific information to the National Flood Insurance Program is entering a five-month work stoppage, even as property losses mount against the backdrop of severe inundation related to climate change.  The Technical Mapping Advisory Council, or TMAC, is composed of 20 experts tapped by the FEMA administrator to answer complex questions about flood dynamics and flood risk in areas across the United States that are experiencing higher temperatures.
Created by Congress in 2012, TMAC's specific charge is to "ensure that flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) reflect the best available science and are based on the best available methodologies for considering the impact of future development on flood risk."  Its findings have direct implications for NFIP, the federal insurance program meant to protect private properties from catastrophic flood losses. Today, NFIP has nearly 5.1 million policyholders and is more than $20 billion in debt, a crisis brought on by unprecedented payouts since Hurricane Katrina in 2005.  Congressional leaders and a broad spectrum of interest groups — ranging from environmental organizations to free-market think tanks and insurance industry trade groups — say the program needs sweeping reforms to set it on a firmer financial footing.  That task could be a lot harder with FEMA's top experts sitting on the sidelines.
A FEMA spokesperson told E&E News last week that only four of TMAC's members have passed required screenings by the White House and the Department of Homeland Security. "The remaining members are currently pending appointment clearances. As a result ... the TMAC does not have [a] quorum and cannot continue work," the FEMA official said.  Among the individuals awaiting White House clearance is TMAC's chairman, Jeffrey Sparrow, a professional engineer and certified floodplain manager with Moffatt & Nichol. "I was the chair for the past year, and if my appointment hadn't lapsed, I would still be the chair," Sparrow said in a telephone interview.  "I think there is a level of frustration," Sparrow said about the work stoppage. "We have done good work; we've invested our time in doing this, but we're not able to complete our work."  TMAC's last official meeting occurred Sept. 25-26, in Reston, Va., two weeks after Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas and one week before Hurricane Michael struck the Florida Panhandle.  The two storms generated more than 9,000 NFIP claims, setting the program even deeper in debt after it processed tens of billions of dollars in claims after Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria in 2017.  
Meanwhile, answers to critical questions that could help FEMA update and improve its flood maps remain hidden in a working draft of a report — a document that hasn't been touched since Sept. 30, according to current and former TMAC members.  "This is the weird thing; we were not done with our task," said Suzanne Jiwani, a floodplain mapping engineer with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources who oversaw part of the council's research plan for 2018. "I'm frankly surprised that they've held it for so long. It does feel like looking into a black hole."  Jiwani's TMAC appointment ended last fall. She said she was asked to continue working as a subject area specialist for the council, but no one from FEMA has contacted her recently.  Among the key questions TMAC was studying last year was how to communicate uncertainty and precision around data models that determine flood zones without undermining public confidence in flood insurance maps. "We want people to still feel confident in their decisions about where to live, where to build and how to build," Sparrow said.  The council was also trying to find ways to better balance FEMA resources between upgrading existing flood maps and creating new maps for areas that have never been mapped but face growing flood risk.  Jiwani, who oversaw that part of the 2018 research effort, said TMAC looked carefully at rural areas where development had historically been too sparse to justify creating flood insurance maps. It also studied urban areas of less than a square mile, often in the heart of a city, that FEMA had not mapped because their drainage areas were too small.
"This is called pluvial flooding, and it can be quite damaging to these small areas, so we said that's an issue that FEMA needs to look into," Jiwani said.
FEMA said it will take up those questions as soon as TMAC achieves a quorum of at least 11 members, and it can submit its final 2018 report to the FEMA administrator. Sparrow said a draft summary of the report, which is available on FEMA's website, does not reflect the council's final conclusions.  Previous TMAC reports dating to 2015 are available on the council's website. They include a January 2016 "future conditions risk assessment" that advises FEMA on how to incorporate climate science into flood risk assessments and ensure the agency has the best available methodology for weighing the role of sea-level rise in future flood risk maps.  Sparrow said he's confident that the council's previous recommendations, including those published in annual reports filed for 2016 and 2017, have been taken seriously by FEMA.  "I'm certain these reports are not sitting on a shelf collecting dust," he said. "I know that FEMA staff are pushing this issue, and pushing it up the chain to bring more attention to it."  Meanwhile, the NFIP lives by temporary congressional authorizations — it has had 10 extensions since 2017 — while little progress has been made with regard to broader reforms for the program.

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 

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.

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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.

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