The Beach Recovery Foundation Declares a State of Emergency for Hatteras Island
Wednesday, April 16, 2014 – Press Release
Buxton, NC – The Beach Recovery Foundation (BRF) today declared that a breach of Route 12 just north of Buxton is imminent, which the BRF predicts will result in a new inlet, sealing Hatteras Island off from the rest of the Outer Banks.
According to a July, 2013 study presented to the Outer Banks Visitors Bureau, entitled “Hatteras Island Economic Impact,” in 2011, tourism generated $204 million, accounted for 2618 jobs, and contributed to $10.3 million in state taxes and $9.4 million in local taxes – most of it during the summer months. A shutdown of the island would therefore have a severe impact on the entire state of North Carolina.
The BRF has determined that the erosion of Hatteras Island is man-made – not “nature taking its course” – and is thus reversible, stemming from the constant dredging of the Oregon Inlet. However, the BRF does acknowledge the importance of the fishing industry and is striving to find an environmentally friendly way to allow it to continue to thrive.
We urge North Carolina Governor Pat McCrory to declare Hatteras Island a disaster area so that the necessary federal and state funds may be allocated to beach nourishment and other measures that will protect the area for as long as possible until a permanent solution can be researched and implemented.
According to Western Carolina University, North Carolina has carried out 221 beach nourishment projects totaling $617,223,415 in 2012 dollars and covering 1,131,163 feet. Of that, only seven were done on Hatteras Island, with a total cost of $11,415,909 in 2012 dollars, and only covering a mere 5951 feet. Worse, the last beach nourishment project dates all the way back to 1973 – 41 years ago.
The BRF reminds everyone that evidence of human presence at the Outer Banks dates back to 11,000BC. The island predates Plymouth, MA as the first English colony. It is therefore one of America’s rare historical and environmental treasures that must be preserved regardless of how it came to be in its present state.
About the Beach Recovery Foundation, Inc.
The mission of the Beach Recovery Foundation is to a) create awareness of, and b) seek out and fund research and development solutions designed to remedy man-made coastal erosion directly attributable to the construction and maintenance of navigation inlets. The Beach Recovery Foundation firmly believes technology exists today that can de-energize wave energy allowing a) sand from a dredge to be stabilized, creating a much longer-lasting result, and b) sand at the near-shore to be perpetually accreted.
One of The Beach Recovery Foundation’s campaigns is “Save the Banks,” an outreach program to find ways to preserve and protect the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Please find us on the web at http://savethebanks.org/ and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/BeachRecoveryFoundation. The Beach Recovery Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)3 non for profit organization. All donations are tax-exempt.