The comment period for a terminal groin proposal at Bald Head Island is now open. If approved, this could lead to the construction of the first terminal groin in North Carolina since lawmakers legalized such structures in 2011.
A terminal groin is a hardened structure which controls sand flow so as to rebuild beaches. Mike Giles of the North Carolina Coastal Federation says if the island installs such a structure, they should remove the existing groin field made up of smaller, sand-filled tubes that slow down erosion:
"So, if you look at an aerial photograph of Bald Head Island, you’ll see this scalloped effect from these sand-filled tube groins. You’ve got to think that one larger groin will have the same effect. And the other concern is the proposal wants to keep those sand-filled groins with this large terminal groin, and we’re opposed to that."
Yet permits are already in place for the sand-filled tubes, says Karen Williams, spokesperson for the Village of Bald Head Island. She says the tubes will work in conjunction with the new terminal groin. And to those concerned about the sea turtle population, Williams says the addition of a large terminal groin would actually increase habitat for sea turtle nesting.
The Division of Coastal Management’s comment period ends on August 21.