Emerald Isle to explore moving boat-launch channel to combat erosion

Emerald Isle commissioners voted Tuesday to spend up to $10,000 to study the feasibility of moving the channel to and from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission boating access facility to address safety and erosion concerns voiced by residents. (Contributed photo)

EMERALD ISLE — Emerald Ise commissioners voted unanimously Tuesday night to spend up to $10,000 to determine whether it is feasible to relocate the channel that leads to and from the boating access facility on Bogue Sound east of town hall.

The unanimous vote came during the commission’s monthly meeting held virtually on GoToWebinar and in town hall and followed public comments from residents who want the channel moved farther offshore because boat wakes are causing erosion of their waterfront properties, among other problems.

Town manager Matt Zapp said any project that could result from the study might cost as much as $1.5 million, with two-thirds of that perhaps available from the state from the Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Aquatic Weed Fund.

Those who spoke Tuesday said a project is sorely needed.

“Boat wakes are destroying the marsh grass,” Lee Harris of Sound Drive said.

Joy Brownlow, also of Sound Drive, said in addition to causing erosion, the wakes from speeding boats hurt seafood production because the grass serves as habitat for juveniles of many marine species.

“We need the support of the town,” she said.

Other speakers said boats fly through the channel, endangering those in the water, and a “no wake zone” wouldn’t do much good because those zones are rarely enforced.

Commissioner Jim Normile, who is also chairperson of the Carteret County Beach Commission, which oversees waterway navigation projects, suggested the town employ Moffitt & Nichol, the county’s beach and navigation channel engineering firm, to conduct a feasibility study.

“We don’t know if it can be done,” he said.

Commissioner and Mayor Pro Tem Floyd Messer agreed.

“I agree with spending the money so we’ll know if we can do something,” he said.

Mayor Eddie Barber called it “an excellent idea,” as did Commissioner Mark Taylor, who made the motion to approve the expenditure of up to $10,000.

The launch facility is at 6800 Highway 58 near mile marker 18. It includes four ramps, parking for 112 vehicle/trailer combinations and a separate parking lot with 18 single vehicle spaces. It’s managed by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and open every hour of the year. There is no cost to use the launch.

The Wildlife Resources Commission paid for the construction of the access area, which opened in 2011, through funding from motorboat registration receipts and sport fish restoration funds. Emerald Isle purchased the land for $4.25 million, using mostly grant money from the state and county.

It’s the largest such facility on the North Carolina coast, according to Mr. Zapp.

 

Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.

(11) comments

David Collins

10K to think about it ? A call to the state authorities would be cheaper . Boat wakes destroying the marsh . Enforce a NO Wake ZONE , cops on jet skis issuing citations with hefty fines . Could be self supporting pretty quickly . Sort of like your paid parking scheme . All about the E I total experience .

noitall

Install one camera and the wake problem will disappear. I can do that but will anyone enforce, I live on that channel shore and there is NO PROBLEM that dredging or Moffit can fix,. In my opinion the wake are pushing sand ashore and creating a private beach and clam nursery. Let it be. Spend the money on a fuel station and ice machine to serve the fisherman. Common sense OK

noitall

Sometimes I sit on my dock and watch these criminal activities - making of the deadly wakes". I SIMPLE POINT MY CAMERA AND THEY SLOW DOWN. My favorite is Boat US on a plane in front of the speed limit marker buoy So in the immortal words of President Teddy Roosevelt, when promoting the Panama Canal. "Dig that canal"

noitall

Commissioner Jim Normile, who is also chairperson of the Carteret County Beach Commission, which oversees waterway navigation projects, suggested the town employ Moffitt & Nichol, the county’s beach and navigation channel engineering firm, to conduct a feasibility study.

I will do the study for one half Moffit's best estimate. This channel is not needed and unless you an produce some evidence to the contrary UP FRONT I suggest you cancel THE SPOTS ARE GONE . THE SCALLOPS ARE GONE. SPEND THE MONEY ON THAT PROBLEM. A CHANNEL CONNECTED TO THE ICW WILL CAUSE MORE TRAFFIC AND MORE PROBLEMS.,

noitall

TIME TO PLAY HARDBALL. TRUE AND VERIFIABLE BACK UP SCIENTIFIC DATA IS MANDATED PRIOR TO STARTING THIS. In its famous opinion in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, the U.S. Supreme Court took a major step toward assuring that our legal system functions on the basis of sound scientific principles. The Court held that judges must apply criteria based on such principles when they decide whether to admit expert testimony. Daubert was a reaction to the well-documented problem of court decisions that are based on “junk science”—opinions offered in evidence by supposed experts but that are not supported by reliable data and analysis.

Daubert requires an expert witness to disclose the data and methodology they relied on as the basis for any opinion they propose to offer in court. The judge then decides whether the data and methodology are sufficiently reliable to support admitting the expert’s testimony. If the opposing counsel challenges the reliability of the data or methodology, the judge conducts a hearing during which opposing counsel has the opportunity to test the reliability of the data and methodology by cross-examining the witness.

noitall

we? - ARE DESTROYING THE MASH GRASS???? SHOW ME THE PROOF OR __

Big Fat Drunk Republican

This is how they made boating no fun in Florida. It’s no wake everywhere.

There is already a no wake zone where it’s close to the island. I don’t know about this one. Seems cleaning up the canal and Archers Creek would do more to help the marsh and critters.

The erosion at properties probably had more to do with Florence and enormous rains last fall, winter and spring.

noitall

No wake and the manatees. No wake zone is a silly idea. Fast boats make less wake. so no wake means, in the real world , hit the throttle.

noitall

Commissioner and Mayor Pro Tem Floyd Messer agreed.

“I agree with spending the money so we’ll know if we can do something,” he said. Fred Messer will not spend any of Fred Messer's money - he prefers OPM. other peoples money.

David Collins

BFDR has a point about erosion . This is a barrier sand island . Over time they tend to wander about , nature’s way . Human intervention seldom if ever makes a difference and often makes things worse .

Endless NO WAKE signs are just part of the coastal experience that more and more crave to be a part of . Only people have boats that leave wakes . More people , more wakes .

noitall

No clear objective, outcome, or plan. If Moffit can commit to a specific outcome that can be measured against the grant then fine - but this is not likely because no one knows what the problem is aside from the life cycle of some aquatic grass. This smells bad and could lead to some ill advised dredging of Archers Creek to create more sound front property. Or even a source for sand to feed the beach. Normile - lets see what you got. What's the plan??

Welcome to the discussion.

As a privately owned web site, we reserve the right to edit or remove comments that contain spam, advertising, vulgarity, threats of violence, racism, anti-Semitism, or personal/abusive/condescending attacks on other users or goading them. The same applies to trolling, the use of multiple aliases, or just generally being a jerk. Enforcement of this policy is at the sole discretion of the site administrators and repeat offenders may be blocked or permanently banned without warning.