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Law Tweaks Coastal Barrier Resource Act

NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH – A portion of North Topsail Beach is being removed from a longstanding designation that exempts property owners from receiving federal aid.

H.R. 5787, The Strengthening Coastal Communities Act of 2018, recently signed by President Donald Trump, amends the Coastal Barrier Resources Act, or CBRA, to create more accurate digital maps of units of the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System, or CBRS.

The new law means minor changes for North Topsail Beach, a town where roughly 70 percent is within a CBRA, pronounced “cobra,” boundary and has spent years trying to get changed. Digital maps will also include modifications to the Pine Island Bay Unit north of Duck in Currituck and Dare counties, the Roosevelt Natural Area Unit in Pine Knoll Shores in Carteret County, and the Hammocks Beach Unit in the Onslow Beach Complex in Onslow County.

Mapper: Compare existing, revised Coastal Barrier Resources System units

Nearly 80 structures, including the Topsail Reef condominiums, within a half-mile stretch of the North Topsail Beach will be removed from the designation, according to the town’s Mayor Dan Tuman.

That will still leave more than half of the town’s beach – 6 miles of 11.1 miles – within a CBRA boundary where it does not qualify for federal storm risk reduction and recovery spending.

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