After ten years, the environmental impact study for Figure 8 Island’s proposed terminal groin is nearing completion. The U.S. Army Corp of Engineers may make a permit decision within the next year.
Terminal groins are hardened structures that aim to prevent the erosion of sand and protect beachfront properties. David Kellam of the Figure 8 Island Homeowner’s Association says the proposed terminal groin would be composed of two parts:
“Probably about 500 feet would be a small, low structure of rocks, looking like a miniature Masonboro type jetty. A terminal groin is definitely not a jetty, and it’s not high out of the water. At this point in time, our terminal groin, if we built it today, would not even touch the water. It would be built totally on dry ground and would have no impact to waters at all.”
The other aspect of the proposal is a buried steel sheet pile wall, which would stretch across the northern end of the island. Kellam says the wall will stop Rich Inlet from migrating south into Figure 8. But the proposal is highly controversial, with some opponents saying it would harm natural habitat and recreation areas.