Southeast
Southeast
Fisheries

Department of Commerce Declares NC Fishery Disaster Due to Hurricane Florence

Disaster Declaration Opens Door for Federal Relief Funds. In November, the governor sent congressional leaders a request for an additional $6.3 billion in federal aid, including a declaration of disaster for North Carolina’s fisheries and $20 million for National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries Disaster Assistance. North Carolina’s full federal request is $8.8 billion.

Southeast
Energy

Environmental groups to sue over offshore drilling tests

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Environmental groups plan to sue the Trump administration over offshore drilling tests, launching a legal fight against a proposal that has drawn bipartisan opposition along the Atlantic Coast, two people with direct knowledge of the pending litigation told The Associated Press on Monday.

Southeast
Energy

Environmental groups will join 16 SC cities to sue over offshore drilling tests

Nine conservation groups and 16 South Carolina coastal communities are expected to sue the Trump administration Tuesday to stop leases to explore for natural gas and oil offshore. The 16 municipalities are Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Isle of Palms, Folly Beach, Edisto Island, Seabrook Island, Kiawah Island, James Island, Beaufort, Hilton Head Island, Bluffton, Port Royal, Awendaw, Pawleys Island, Briarcliffe Acres and North Myrtle Beach. Also part of the litigation is the S.C. Small Business Chamber of Commerce.

Southeast
Local

Folly Beach looks at new building rules as high tides reveal flooding dangers

FOLLY BEACH — Cristen Hampton used to have a fire pit in her backyard. Now she has a wall. Hampton was sick of the island’s back marsh, just about 15 feet from her home here, backing up into her property during high tides and serious storms. During a few events, she had a foot and a half of water in her basement.

Southeast
Energy

SC governor and attorney general ‘in complete agreement’ against offshore drilling

COLUMBIA — With political pressure mounting, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and Attorney General Alan Wilson spoke last week about their opposition to President Donald Trump’s effort to open up the Atlantic Ocean to offshore drilling.

Southeast
Engineering

$18 million sand project to restore 3.5 miles of beach, from Jetty Park to Cocoa Beach Pier

Work began this week on the largest beach renourishment project in the Port Canaveral area of the five that have occurred since 1995.

Southeast
Engineering

Additional Beach Nourishment Funding Approved Following Florence Fea

CAROLINA BEACH - Hurricane Florence eroded the beach front in Carolina Beach and Kure Beach. A project was already scheduled in the spring of 2019 to pump sand onto the beach front.

Southeast
Property

Orrin H. Pilkey column: Lessons from past hurricanes bode poorly for our future

The end of the 2018 hurricane season is a good time to take a step back and see what we’ve learned from recent storms.

Southeast
Engineering

North Myrtle Beach prepares for beach renourishment project

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing to renourish the shore along Crescent Beach and may start pumping sand onto the beach this week, according to a Monday news release from the City of North Myrtle Beach.

Southeast
Engineering

Broward County Beach Renourishment Project Starts Soon

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District awarded a $7.86 million contract on December 6 to Eastman Aggregate Enterprises, LLC of Lake Worth, Florida, for Contract A of the Broward County Segment III Flood Control and Coastal Emergency Beach Erosion Control Project 2018.

Southeast
Energy

Editorial: Make voices heard on seismic surveying

The oil explorers are readying their seismic air guns to sound out deposits off the Georgia coast. As our time to sound off against the practice runs short, we must pump up the volume.

Southeast
Engineering

Why coastal Carolina may never recover from its intensifying hurricanes

Floods leave too much behind. That’s how Sherry Henderson described life in Pollocksville about 40 days after Hurricane Florence. The future will bring growing uncertainty for riverside and coastal communities, in Pollocksville and beyond. Epic rainfall and massive storm surge will only intensify with climate change.

Southeast
Engineering

$18 million, Five-Month Canaveral Harbor Federal Sand Bypass Project Slated to Begin This Week

Work began this week on the largest beach renourishment project in the Port Canaveral area of the five that have occurred since 1995. The project — formally known as Phase V of the Canaveral Harbor Federal Sand Bypass Project — will move about 1.34 million cubic yards of sand to replenish 3.5 miles of beach south of Port Canaveral. Norfolk Dredging Co., a Chesapeake, VA based provider of hydraulic and clamshell dredging services, won the $18 million contract.

Southeast
Engineering

St. Johns County Commissioner Jeremiah Blocker speaks at Ponte Vedra (FL) Beaches Coalition Meeting

Recently sworn-in St. Johns County District 4 Commissioner Jeremiah Blocker addressed the Ponte Vedra Beaches Coalition at its December meeting on Monday, Dec. 3, discussing a few of the key issues he plans on targeting while serving in office. This includes his support of a Municipal Service Taxing Unit (MSTU) to support beach renourishment, and allocating tourism money back into Ponte Vedra.

Southeast
Engineering

Dredging Projects on the Coast Affected by Hurricane Florence: Beach Nourishment Projects Prove to Be Important Factor in Mitigating Damage

Hurricane Florence came ashore in North Carolina on September 15 disrupting lives and turning parts of the Carolinas into inaccessible islands. With dredging projects underway in areas from South Carolina to New York, contractors had to make decisions on if and when to pack it up and head to safety.

Southeast
Engineering

$99M shoreline renourishment project inches ahead in Flagler Beach

New funding opens door to restart stalled 50-year project. The estimated cost of the project is projected to be $98,798,000 over its 50-year life, $52,023,000 is expected to be funded by the federal government.

Southeast
Engineering

Beach renourishment could begin this week in North Myrtle Beach

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) - The city of North Myrtle Beach announced the beach renourishment project scheduled for the area may begin work as early as this week, weather permitting.

Southeast
Energy

Dare County, NC leaders send letter protesting approval of seismic testing

Already on record as opposing offshore drilling for oil and natural gas, the chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners and Nags Head’s mayor have sent a letter protesting the National Marine Fisheries Service’s recent decision to approve seismic testing for undersea reserves.

Southeast
Property

SC island property owners want homes torn down after beach erosion

A private island community in Beaufort County is suing the state over beach regulations — but in a twist, a homeowners association isn’t trying to circumvent the rules, but rather get the state’s help in removing six homes.

Southeast
Fisheries

South Atlantic Fisheries Council meets this week in Kitty Hawk

The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council will be meeting at the Hilton Garden Inn in Kitty Hawk this Monday afternoon through Friday. The council, headquartered in Charleston, S.C., is responsible for managing fish stocks within the federal 200-mile limit off the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and east Florida to Key West.

Southeast
Waterways

Inland port coming to Gainesville. How big will its impact be in the region?

A regional terminal for cargo heading from the Port of Savannah to area companies could open in 2021 at the Gateway Industrial Centre off Ga. 365 in North Hall.

Southeast
Engineering

USACE: $17.4 Million Sand Placement Contract for Weeks Marine

Weeks Marine Inc., a Covington, LA, based maritime construction company, has won a $17.4 million contract for two dredging projects in North Carolina.

Southeast
Engineering

Cape Fear - PLEASURE ISLAND BEACHES TO UNDERGO RENOURISHMENT THIS WINTER

PLEASURE ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — Following two devastating hurricanes in the past two years, the Cape Fear coast has taken a beating. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) Wilmington announced Friday beaches on Pleasure Island will undergo renourishment this winter.

Southeast
Tourism

New ferries to Ocracoke are bigger and could boost visitors to the N.C. barrier island

MANNS HARBOR, N.C. Three new Outer Banks ferries will be capable of carrying more people and travel faster than ever on the state’s busiest route. A new 180-foot $9.7 million vessel, named the Rodanthe, arrives in March with the capacity for 40 cars.

Southeast
Engineering

$22.4 Million A1A Rebuilding and Sea Wall Construction in Flagler Beach Starts in January

More than two years after Hurricane Matthew chopped up the south end of State Road A1A in Flagler Beach, requiring makeshift repairs to keep the road driveable, the state Department of Transportation this week executed a $22.4 million contract with Jacksonville-based Superior Construction Company Southeast to start construction on permanent repairs of the road in three segments starting on Jan. 4. (Transportation officials in November 2018 had projected a start date last summer.)

Southeast
Property

Hurricane season is over, but the impact of storms remains

The end of November marks the end of hurricane season, and 2018 was a significant year for the Southeast coast in terms of damage and impact from large storms.

Southeast
Energy

Seismic testing approved, moving South Carolina towards offshore drilling

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — Offshore drilling is one step closer to reality and it’s created a lot of political noise along the East Coast.

Southeast
Engineering

Climate report hits close to home

A 1,000-page climate assessment produced by 300 scientists and released by the federal government late last month provided a bleak outlook for Florida over the next 50 to 100 years. The report predicts an increase in powerful hurricanes, more disease-carrying mosquitoes, more heat waves and rising sea levels around the state.

Southeast
Engineering

North Carolina - Legislature finalizes how to spend $300M in hurricane relief

RALEIGH, N.C. - Nearly $300 million in additional state spending to address North Carolina's recovery from Hurricane Florence has received quick and unanimous approval from the legislature. The House voted Thursday to send the relief measure to Gov. Roy Cooper, who is expected to sign it into law. The Senate approved the bill Wednesday, also with no votes in opposition.

Southeast
Recreation

Tempers rise in the Everglades; Ohio dredging costs to rise

It’s no secret the algae blooms that turn waterways into guacamole on portions of Florida’s east and west coasts emanate from harmful discharges coming out of Lake Okeechobee. In another part of the country, deadlines for prohibiting open-lake dumping of dredge materials is approaching in Ohio. Both these issues will impact local marinas and boat dealers, not to mention having a potentially negative effect on boating in those parts of the country.

Southeast
Science

Understanding the Effect of Salinity Tolerance on Cyanobacteria Associated with a Harmful Algal Bloom in Lake Okeechobee, Florida

USGS takes a deep dive into red tide and examines the relationship between USACE water management decisions on Lake Okeechobee, nutrient loading, and coastal red tide blooms. The paper also examines other factors impacting certain red tide species such as salinity. Great read on the science of red tide. (Scientific Investigations Report 2018–5092, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey)

Southeast
Waterways

Charleston deepening project allocated $41M

The S.C. Ports Authority has been allocated $41.1 million in federal funds to continue dredging work in the Charleston Harbor deepening project, which will yield the deepest harbor on the East Coast.

Southeast
Tourism

St. Lucie County Tourism marks fifth consecutive record-breaking year in bed tax collections

FORT PIERCE — St. Lucie County experienced a 6.1 percent increase in bed tax revenue for the 2017-18 budget year, compared to the previous record-breaking year.

Southeast
Engineering

Army Corps of Engineers resumes Myrtle Beach renourishment project following Hurricane Florence

South Carolina is no stranger to hurricanes and each one takes its toll on shorelines and beach communities located here and across the Atlantic coastal region. After each significant storm, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers personnel assess erosion impacts, work hand-in-hand with state and local partners to determine mitigation measures for erosion damage to shoreline projects and take authorized measures to rehabilitate effected areas.

Southeast
Local

Lake Worth considers name change

LAKE WORTH, Fla. — After nearly 100 years of existence, the city of Lake Worth could change its name to Lake Worth Beach if commissioners move forward with the proposal.

Southeast
Local

Federal report says what Florida already knows — climate change is affecting us now

The message of the most comprehensive climate change report the United States has ever released is clear: climate change is already impacting Americans, and if nothing is done it will devastate the economy and disrupt millions of lives.

Southeast
Property

Opinion: The elephant in the room

Recent hurricanes Florence and Michael, and the damage to our coastal region, highlight two things: Sea level rise and unequal distribution of wealth. Unfortunately, both of these are political as well as scientific. The current hyper-partisan atmosphere for discussing solutions is toxic and divisive.

Southeast
Tourism

2018 Volusia beach driving: daily sales way down, revenue way up

The county raked in $1 million more in revenue than last year, when the county sold 200,000 more passes overall.

Southeast
Science

Drones Offer Ability to Find, ID and Count Marine Megafauna

New research from North Carolina State University demonstrates that consumer-grade drones are effective tools for monitoring marine species across multiple sites in the wild. The work shows that the technology can be a valuable platform for scientists and conservationists interested in studying populations of sharks, rays, sea turtles and other marine megafauna.

Southeast
Engineering

Topsail Island looks to rebound from Hurricane Florence

The storm hammered Pender County’s beaches, but officials say the recovery is already well underway. In all likelihood, tourism at Topsail Beach and Surf City will not be as robust next spring and summer as has been the case in past years. But Topsail Beach Town Manager Michael Rose said it’s not going to be a bust, either.

Southeast
Engineering

Jacksonville Beach getting makeover after Hurricane Irma

JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. - If you plan to take your out-of-town relatives to the beach this Thanksgiving weekend, be prepared to see some heavy equipment in Jacksonville Beach. Tractors, pipes, dumpsters and boats are all being used in a renourishment project that is currently underway from the Beach Boulevard beach access north to the pier.

Southeast
Energy

FERC issues draft environmental impact statement for Eagle LNG’s Jacksonville Project

The staff of the US Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has prepared a draft environmental impact statement (EIS) for the Jacksonville Project proposed by Eagle LNG Partners Jacksonville LLC.

Southeast
Engineering

Newly organized County Commission offers initial support for beach renourishment study

On a day of change on the St. Johns County Commission, the biggest issue Tuesday was what to do in order to combat the alterations wrought by nature on the county’s north beaches.

Southeast
Engineering

Equipment Begins to Arrive at Fernandina Beach

Manson Construction crews have begun staging equipment for the upcoming Nassau County project at Fernandina Beach.

Southeast
Local

SPECIAL REPORT: How relentless storms hollow out communities

Can a hurricane kill a community? It’s a question the residents of Mexico Beach, Florida, are probably asking after Hurricane Michael roared ashore there on Oct. 10, obliterating a city just a little larger than Fair Bluff. It’s too soon to say whether Hurricane Florence will spell the end of Fair Bluff, or any of the other communities battered by September’s epic flooding in the eastern third of North Carolina. But after back-to-back catastrophes — Matthew in 2016 and now Florence — residents of eastern North Carolina fear that those who can afford to flee flood-prone towns will move away, leaving their poorer neighbors behind and their communities with dwindling resources that are essential to recovery.

Southeast
Property

Dare Towns Look to Manage ‘Mega-Houses’

As Dare County municipalities try to address concerns about the proliferation of “mega-houses” and their impact on the character and environment of beach communities, the town councils in both Southern Shores and Duck met last week to explore new approaches to the issue.

Southeast
Engineering

Florida beach projects are a big investment. Are they worth it?

Beaches are generally the first thing that comes to mind when people think of Florida. That’s certainly the case with Dympna Duddy who lives in Ireland. “I can’t speak enough about,” said Duddy as she looks out at Bathtub Reef Beach in Stuart. “Florida depends so much on tourists who come from all over the world.”

Southeast
Advocacy

Florida Oceanographic Society plans multi-million-dollar upgrade at Coastal Center

STUART — The Florida Oceanographic Society is planning a $6.5 million expansion project at its 57-acre campus on Hutchinson Island.

Southeast
Advocacy

Plastic bag and foam container ban passes first reading in Charleston City Council

A city-wide ban on plastic bags, straws, and foam containers advanced in Charleston City Council after a robust debate between city officials Tuesday night. If passed, the ordinance would make Charleston the largest city in the state to adopt a bag ban after similar efforts from coastal communities stretching from Surfside Beach to Beaufort County.

Southeast
Federal

Supporters say Hurricane Florence showed the need for I-73, not everyone agrees

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) - A quarter of a century later, local, state, and federal leaders still work to build Interstate 73. It would be the Grand Strand area's first interstate. I-73 would run from Michigan to Myrtle Beach. Now after Hurricane Florence, there's even more urgency, among some, to complete the project.

Southeast
Local

Sunset Beach to send out dredging letters

SUNSET BEACH — Town Council last week approved sending out a letter about island dredging town waterways and its estimated costs to all residents. Approval at council’s Nov. 5 meeting came following months of discussion and debate on how to proceed when costs aren’t definite. The dredging project is intended to provide a long-term management template for maintaining navigation access throughout approx. 3.5 miles of waterways within the Town of Sunset Beach. The waterways include Jinks Creek, the Bay Area, the Feeder Channel and the finger canals (A, B, C, & D) along 6th, Marlin, Dolphin, Sailfish, and Cobia Streets.

Southeast
Property

Broadway producer lists Palm Beach oceanfront estate for $135M

Socialite Terry Allen Kramer is hoping to make her château-like compound on Palm Beach’s ‘Billionaire’s Row’ the wealthy county’s most expensive property.

Southeast
Engineering

Parcel by parcel, underwater land on Folly Beach is donated — or fades away

A private landowner donated their property to Folly Beach on Tuesday, but the land won’t be used as a public park or green space — it’s underwater. And the parcel, legally designated as 501 W. Atlantic Ave., has been so ravaged by erosion that it’s named for a street that no longer exists.

Southeast
Property

KREF Lends $285M on Two Florida Multifamily Developments

In the first of two major Florida residential loans this week from the firm, KKR Real Estate Finance Trust has lent $135 million to refinance a multifamily rental development in West Palm Beach, Fla., the real estate finance company told Commercial Observer today.

Southeast
Waterways

Just three years after controversial ‘Deep Dredge,’ Port of Miami wants more

This time around, the fight may well come down to what’s more valuable to South Florida: dollars from mega ships or the health of the only inshore reef tract in the U.S. that also protects the coast from hurricanes.

Southeast
Advocacy

Conservationists urge Charleston to cancel floodplain development in outer West Ashley

A new neighborhood planned on the banks of Church Creek in outer West Ashley is moving through the final steps of the city of Charleston’s approval process, even though the creek is notorious for overflowing and triggering a number of severe flooding problems there.

Southeast
Federal

Grant announced to aid restoration of SC’s Crab Bank

A foundation has granted $700,000 to the effort to save South Carolina's Crab Bank, a greatly eroded island and bird breeding area in Charleston Harbor. Read more here: https://www.newsobserver.com/news/state/south-carolina/article221501650.html#storylink=cpy

Southeast
Tourism

Crash of hotel occupancy rate and bed tax collections documented

During red tide crisis in September, Sarasota County hotel rooms were only 39.9% full

Southeast
Property

WTOC Investigates: Cold Coastal Housing Market

Unlike many cities in the U.S., where homes are selling within days of being listed, the housing market along the coast seems to be just the opposite. Getting the property back to normal after two hurricanes has been costly, but she says she’s not willing to spend more money on the house just to try to satisfy buyers.

Southeast
Tourism

Topsail Island looks to rebound from Hurricane Florence

The storm hammered Pender County’s beaches, but officials say the recovery is already well underway

Southeast
Tourism

Planning a wild spring break? Please don’t come to Miami Beach, city tells students

If your ideal spring break includes tequila shots on the beach, blasting music from your car at 4 a.m., and smoking a joint in public, then Miami Beach isn’t the place for you. At least, that’s the message that the city’s police department sent to college students this week in letters warning that — after a particularly rowdy spring break last year — the island plans to crack down on behavior that hurts residents’ quality of life.

Southeast
Property

There’s a surplus of luxury condos in Miami, but three more developers are building anyway

The 2018 Herald Real Estate Survey polled 100 experts about Miami and here are some of their answers.

Southeast
Energy

Solar Power Is About to Boom in the Sunshine State

Florida has lagged in renewable energy use, but declining solar costs are set to change that

Southeast
Local

Movement to increase bed tax likely to be defeated

Coastal erosion on the First Coast has caused residents to push for an increase in the tourist development tax to help fund beach renourishment. Following the Tuesday, Oct. 16 meeting of the St. Johns County Commission, it does not appear that increase will take place.

Southeast
Recreation

Surf fishing shut down, but mullet run is still underway

Devastation as far as the eye can see is still the norm for the beaches from Melbourne Beach to Indialantic to Cocoa Beach. It's unprecedented.

Southeast
Advocacy

Report: Combination of offshore drilling, hurricane off SC coast could spell disaster

A new report says the combination of offshore drilling and a hurricane could cause problems for the South Carolina coastline.

Southeast
Property

Flagler Beach house gets more than $1 million

The house has a elevator and 3,242 square feet of living space.

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