Readies for D.C. Water Congress
With beach renourishment projects coming for Carolina, Kure and Wrightsville beaches in 2013 and 2014, New Hanover County shore protection coordinator Layton Bedsole requested Kure Beach receive sand following Carolina Beach during the Port, Waterway and Beach Commission meeting on Wednesday, Jan. 23.
The United States Army Corps of Engineers is set to begin work on the Carolina Beach renourishment project this year. Bedsole said it would make the most sense for the crew to move to Kure Beach next versus Wrightsville Beach; however, Bedsole also said the county and the PWBC should start focusing on Wrightsville Beach’s renourishment now.
“In order to get our foot in the door for Wrightsville Beach, I’ve asked [the USACE] to give me a cost to go ahead and do the native beach analysis for Wrightsville,” Bedsole said. “That is five transects equally spaced along the beach to determine what is the native beach characterization.”
Referring to the upcoming trip that some members of the PWBC will attend in Washington, D.C. for the National Water Congress, Bedsole said future funding for beach renourishment projects like Wrightsville Beach should be one of the main concerns.
“In my mind that is where our focus needs to move now. We’ve got Carolina and Kure in the process; they are going to get sand this winter,” Bedsole said. “I would recommend that it be a primary talking point in D.C. We don’t know what is going to happen with the funding.”
Bedsole said he has not yet seen the USACE’s FY 2013-14 or FY 2014-15 work plan, so he does not know if it is planning for the Wrightsville Beach renourishment or not. However, he said the funding for the planning and specs for the Wrightsville Beach renourishment project was there.
“For the renourishment, I don’t know where the money is, if there is money,” Bedsole said. “We should take a glass half full approach, but I think in D.C. that should be one of our priorities.”
PWBC representatives attending the Water Congress from Feb. 25-27 will be Bedsole, Wrightsville Beach Mayor David Cignotti and Carolina Beach Mayor Bob Lewis. From Kure Beach, Mayor Dean Lambeth will also attend. The Water Congress will provide the PWBC with the opportunity to bring its concerns to United States Congressmen who represent southeastern North Carolina like Rep. Mike McIntyre and Rep. Walter Jones, and Senators Richard Burr and Kay Hagan. Issues that the PWBC agreed to bring before the representatives include beach renourishment funding and the Wilmington harbor project.
To spur further interaction with those representatives, the PWBC also agreed to extend invitations to McIntyre, Jones, Burr and Hagan to attend future PWBC meetings.