NC - Nourished beaches provide good return on investment
The Sunday, Jan. 26 story “Dredging for Dollars” by Brad Rich appearing in the Carteret County News-Times provides proof that both the state and Carteret County have gotten an excellent ROI, return on investment, from the county’s beach commission.
Mr. Rich’s story provides excellent details of the financial impact of 18 years of beach nourishment effort on the Bogue Banks beaches and the subsequent revenues that have accrued to the state, region and county.
Since 2001, federal, state and local expenses on beach nourishment projects, with a few harbor projects added, amount to just over $144 million. Comparing that number with current property valuations of $5.5 billion, (yes that is billion with a ‘B’), and the residual ad valorem tax revenue that is generated annually of $17 million per year, the subsequent 18-year investment of $144 million for beach nourishment is an excellent ROI. If amortized over the 18 years as an annual expense the beach nourishment investment amounts to $8 million annually.
There are other financial benefits noted in the story as well, such as the financial impact of the tourist industry that benefits from our nourished beaches. According to Tom Kies, Carteret County Chamber of Commerce President, the beaches provide a strong tourist attraction and that tourist industry provides over 3,000 jobs in the county. Using visitor expenditure data, the N.C. Department of Commerce estimated the value of the tourism industry for the county to be $377 million just in 2018 alone.