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CoastLine: Shoreline Stabilization; Terminal Groins in Ocean Isle and Holden Beach

Holden Beach terminal groin proposal

Ocean Isle Beach in Brunswick County is the second North Carolina municipality to receive a permit for a terminal groin since a long-standing ban was lifted in 2011.  Bald Head Island was the first – completing construction in 2015.  Now, Holden Beach, a neighbor of Ocean Isle in Brunswick County is seeking a permit for its own hardened structure to trap sand and slow erosion.  Figure Eight Island has also pursued a permit, but that process appears to have stalled. 

There are now six such structures allowed in the state after lawmakers raised the initial cap of four. 

On this edition of CoastLine, we’ll explore some of the complexities of shoreline management, we’ll find out why environmental advocates have not relaxed their opposition to hardened structures on the beach, and we’ll learn where some of these projects are in the pipeline.


David Hewett, Town Manager of Holden Beach

Layton Bedsole, Shoreline Protection Coordinator, New Hanover County

Mike Giles, Coastal Advocate, North Carolina Coastal Federation

Correction from Layton Bedsole regarding how funding for New Hanover County beaches breaks down: 

65% Federal, 35% Non-Federal, with the Non-Federal portion split 50/50 with NHC room occupancy tax (17.5%) and the Division of Water Resources (17.5%).

Rachel hosts and produces CoastLine, an award-winning hourlong conversation featuring artists, humanitarians, scholars, and innovators in North Carolina. The show airs Wednesdays at noon and Sundays at 2 pm on 91.3 FM WHQR Public Media. It's also available as a podcast; just search CoastLine WHQR. You can reach her at rachellh@whqr.org.