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Holden Officials Advised On Erosion Control
BY DOUG RUTTER
Rebuilding occanfront dunes at
Holden Bcach will help protect
property if a hurricanc or another
major winter storm comes along, but
the dunes won't solve the island's
ongoing erosion problem.
That was the message town offi
cials heard Monday from Spencer
Rogers, a coastal engineer with
UNC Sea Grant who has studied
erosion problems like the one at
Holden for the last 15 years.
Town officials arc concerned
about the chronic erosion problem
on the bcach, and they're also wor
ried about dunes that were flattened
during a severe winter storm March
"The council, as you might well
imagine, is struggling with what to
do," Mayor Wally Auslcy told
Rogers, who was asked to advise
commissioners at their meeting
'There aren't any easy answers,"
Rogers told the board. "There's no
tnagic that's going to fix this and
make the problem go away."
Rogers said rebuilding the dunes
would help protect houses in the
event of a storm. However, he said
there's not much the community can
do to control continuous erosion
with its limited funds.
If the town board decides to re
build the damaged dunes, Rogers
said sand should be brought to the
island from an outside source and
added to the beach. Dunes should be
built as far away from the ocean as
As far as controlling the ongoing
erosion problem along certain sec
tions of the bcach, Rogers said there
isn't much property owners or the
town can do without spending a lot
Town officials say the east end of
the island and the middle between
the 500 and 900 blocks of Ocean
Boulevard West are the worst areas
Rogers said the only way to treat
the problem is with a beach nourish
ment program, which costs about SI
million per mile. "It's not a cure for
erosion. It simply treats the illness."
Chronic erosion is not uncommon
in North Carolina, where most
beaches lose two or three feet per
year. Rogers said one of the causcs
is that the sea level is rising 6 to 12
inches per century.
Although other sections of Hol
den Beach aren't losing much sand
now, Rogers said there's no guaran
icc erosion patterns won't change.
"Nature isn't fair in the short
term, but it usually is in the long
term," he said. "Just because you
have areas that aren't eroding now
doesn't mean they're safe in the fu
Asked how to protect roads
threatened by the ocean, Rogers said
sandbags usually work better than
sand. "If you do it right it'll give
you short-term protection."
Rogers advised against using
bulldozers to push sand from the
beach to form dunes. He said S21
million in federal money was spent
in North Carolina to push up dunes
following Hurricane Hugo and most
of the dunes arc gone.
The engineer said property own
ers should fertilize vegetation along
the dunes to help the plants grow
and trap more sand.
Town Manager Gary Parker said
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"There aren't any easy answers.
There's no magic that's going to fix
this and make the problem go away."
?Spencer Rogers, coastal engineer
homeowners interested in rebuilding
dunes at their property have until
May 15 to complete the work under
the state CAMA permit issued to the
In other business Monday, com
?Gave final approval of assess
ments for the recently-completed
canal dredging projects. Property
owners in Holdcn Beach Harbor will
pay S377 for each 50-foot lot, while
Heritage Harbor owners will pay
SI50 per lot. Bills will be mailed in
three weeks and landowners will
have 30 days to pay.
?Granted permission for the annual
Fourth of July fireworks display at
Campground By The Sea. Town of
ficials plan to discuss funding of the
event when they work on the budget
for next fiscal year. "If you want to
put a contribution to it it'll go
straight in the air," said campground
manager William Williamson.
Post Offices Have New Hours,
No More Closing For Lunch
The Shallolte and South Brunswick Islands post offices have an
nounced new hours and dispatch times, according to spokesman
The Shallottc facility, on U.S. 17 Business, is now open Monday
through Friday from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. with no lunchtime closing.
Mail dispatch times arc 1:50 and 4:15 p.m. Saturday hours are 10 a.m.
The Shallottc Post Office phone number is 754-8213. The phone
number in the current telephone directory will conncct the caller with
the South Brunswick Post Office.
The South Brunswick Post Office, on N.C. 904 at Seaside, beginning
May 8 will be open Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. until 4:30
p.m. with no lunchume closing. Saturday hours will be from 10 a.m. un
South Brunswick mail dispatch times will be 2:20 and 4:35 p.m.
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