CAPE CARTERET — Cape Carteret commissioners agreed Monday night to contribute $2,500 to a project to dredge Bogue Inlet between Emerald Isle and Onslow County this spring.
Bogue Inlet is the passageway most boaters in the western end of Carteret County, including Cape Carteret, use to get to the ocean.
The 5-0 vote came during the town board of commissioners’ monthly meeting, conducted on Zoom, and was based on a written presentation by Greg Rudolph, manager of the County Shore Protection Office.
In his presentation, Mr. Rudolph said the planned project represents the sixth time since 2006 a cluster of Carteret and Onslow local governments have pooled financial resources to compliment N.C. Division of Water Resources funding, which facilitates the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to maintain Bogue Inlet and the connecting channel utilizing federal dredges.
“NCDWR and the Corps have a long-term Memorandum of Agreement in place whereby non-State/local funds are provided to NCDWR, who in turn matches the funding and provides the sum directly to the Corps,” Mr. Rudolph wrote.
He said $80,000 is already available in money leftover from previous collections from the same local governments which ACE is holding it to use at Bogue Inlet.
An additional $200,000, is to come from the N.C. Division of Water Resources. Carteret County’s share of the cost is $35,000, Onslow County’s share is $47,500, Emerald Isle’s share is $10,000 and Cedar Point and Swansboro also are asked to chip in $2,500 each.
The $380,000 total, Mr. Rudolph said, should be enough to get the work done.
The state money comes from the N.C. Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Aquatic Weed Fund, originally established in 2013 and funded by portions of boater registration fees and the marine fuel excise tax. In the past, before the fund was created, the state provided 50% of the cost to dredge Bogue Inlet.
Mr. Rudolph said the ACE has tentatively placed the Bogue Inlet dredging event on its schedule for late spring.
“We have … requested the Corps to utilize one of their small hopper dredges rather than the side-cast dredge for this dredging event,” Mr. Rudolph wrote. “A hopper dredge … was utilized for the last dredging event in 2018 and this was the first time a Corps hopper dredge was utilized for Bogue Inlet maintenance since the early 1980s.
“The (results of) the 2018 dredging event seemed to ‘last longer’ than previous events conducted using the sidecaster,” he said, so the county is requesting a hopper dredge this time.
After the work, the ACE will reposition the navigation markers in the inlet to reflect the depth changes.
Any unused funds after the project will sit in reserve with the ACE for the next dredging event in the inlet.
Contact Brad Rich at 252-864-1532; email Brad@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @brichccnt.