North Carolina’s preferred way to fight coastal erosion might be leading to greater risk of rip-current drownings and shorebreak injuries. A group of scientists think the possibility deserves much more serious investigation. BY KEVIN KEISTER | CARLI BROSSEAU

NC - There’s never been federal funding available for these 2 NC beaches. Until now.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will use money from a disaster bill to provide long-awaited federal funding for a pair of North Carolina beach nourishment projects, according to a release from U.S. Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis.

According to the release, the Corps will spend about $237 million building dunes and widening the beach on 10 miles of Topsail Island shoreline, including about four miles of southern North Topsail Beach and a little more than six miles of Surf City. The Corps will use an additional $44.5 million to build nearly six miles of dunes and widen 22.7 miles of beach on Carteret County’s Bogue Banks.

In a prepared statement, Burr said, “Each storm that hits North Carolina takes a toll on our beaches and river basins. After the historic damage inflicted by recent hurricanes, it was clear that more preventive measures needed to be taken to better protect our coastal communities.”

Monday’s release comes days after the Corps similarly announced it would use $39.6 million from the disaster relief package to build a long-awaited levee around Princeville in Edgecombe County. Both the Topsail Island and the Bogue Banks projects began in the early part of this century, with a feasibility study for the Topsail project authorized in 2000 after Hurricanes Fran and Floyd and initial studies for Bogue Banks authorized in 2001.

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