VIA Sunset Beach

NC - Residents Challenge South Jinks Creek Permit

The state in February gave Sunset Beach the green light to pump material dredged from an ocean-access waterway onto a disposal site just off the beach, but two Sunset Beach property owners are challenging that permit.

The North Carolina Division of Coastal Management on Feb. 18 issued a major modification to the Coastal Area Management Act, or CAMA, major permit the town initially received in October 2019.

The modified permit grants the town the go-ahead to move an estimated 40,500 cubic yards of beach-compatible sand from South Jinks Creek to a nearshore area along about a 2,000-foot stretch of shoreline seaward between Third and 13th streets.

Residents Richard Hilderman and Rich Cerrato submitted to the division March 8 an application to appeal the permit. They argue that the town has not proven dredged sand placed in the nearshore site will remain within the shoal system from which it would be removed.

“The problem I have is there’s a CAMA regulation that says if you take spoils out, you must put it in the appropriate littoral system and it must remain in there permanently,” Hilderman said. “That’s the basis of my appeal, is you don’t have any evidence it’s going to remain in the Tubbs Inlet shoal system nor do you have any evidence that it will remain permanently there.”

He and Cerrato point specifically to a section of North Carolina General Statute Chapter 113 that reads “Clean, beach quality material dredged from navigational channels within the active nearshore, beach or inlet shoal systems shall not be removed permanently from the active nearshore, beach or inlet shoal system. This dredged material shall be disposed of on the beach or shallow active nearshore area where it is environmentally acceptable and compatible with other uses of the beach.”

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