Emerald Isle board OKs effort to get state money to dredge boating access channel

After numerous complaints from residents and visitors, Emerald Isle officials are proposing to dredge the channel to and from the state-owned boating access facility in Bogue Sound. The area to be dredged is in the box marked in green. (Emerald Isle map)

EMERALD ISLE — Emerald Isle commissioners voted 5-0 Nov. 9 to authorize town manager Matt Zapp to apply for state funds for a dredging project to improve the channel to and from a regional boating access facility on Bogue Sound.

The vote came during the board’s monthly meeting in town hall, also held virtually via GoToWebinar.

Mr. Zapp said he’ll now apply for the $90,000 for the project, which will remove 995 cubic yards of material from the channel, from the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission launch basin to about channel marker 28. The water farther into the sound and out to the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway is still deep enough and won’t be dredged, according to the manager.

Mr. Zapp said he hopes to go out for bids from contractors soon. He believes the state will pay the full cost of the work, although Emerald Isle will have to provide $30,000 and wait for it to be reimbursed.

“The risk is low for us and return is high,” Mr. Zapp said.

Of the $90,000, $60,000 would come from a grant from the N.C. Shallow Draft Inlet and Aquatic Weed Fund, which receives revenue from boat motor fuel taxes.

Mr. Zapp said he has worked with the state and the Carteret County Shore Protection Office to develop the plan. A bucket dredge will load the dredged material onto a barge, which will take it to shore to be hauled away and disposed of at a permitted site.

The town says the work is necessary because chronic shoaling is creating a boat-and-trailer logjam as boaters encounter shallow water leaving and returning to the facility.

The launch includes four launching ramps and parking for 112 vehicle/ trailer combinations and a separate parking lot with 18 single-vehicle spaces. It is managed by the WRC and open 24 hours a day, every day of the year. There is no fee to use it.

Commissioner Mark Taylor made the motion to authorize the grant application.


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

(4) comments


Channel proposed for dredging is already there. Controlling depth at mean tide of four feet. I routinely navigated this natural channel my 43 ft boat with no problems. The entrance into the ICW is a blind intersection and will be a major safety problem. - especially for faster boats. I hold a USCG Cap't Commercial 90 ton offshore Sailing license. A better idea would be to move the boat ramp to a better location - maybe next to the Langston Bridge. or the old ferry landing. But that will never happen. Why?? Who knows? Free money will never buy anything of lasting value.


“The risk is low for us and return is high,” Mr. Zapp said. And this conclusion is made with NO idea of the bid cost - or any way to back up this claim. Easy Money Zapp would put his own money into this profitable venture?? What do you think. This may be a needed channel bu it is in the wrong place. Move the launch ramp to Langston. Everybody would win. I sold my boat two years ago, so I have no dog in this hunt. Tourism and the rental tax "trumps"everything.


So sorry you had to sell your boat Dave.


It was time to move on. Boats are fun but problematic as hxxx. I wonder, would EI publish a text of the grant application? Or do I have to go the freedom of information route? There are many advantages to development of the old ferry landing site - now in private hands. This could be a money maker. I have no involvement with the owners. Hate to see such a good site laying fallow.

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.