Congressman Walter B. Jones (NC-3) yesterday asserted his opposition to a Draft Dredged Material Management Plan (DMMP) that would direct 43 percent of sand dredged from Morehead City Harbor to Shackleford Banks.
In a letter to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District Commander Colonel Steven A. Baker and Cape Lookout National Seashore Superintendent Patrick Kenney, Congressman Jones urged the agencies to go back to the drawing board and produce a new plan that better meets the stated needs of all parties, particularly the taxpayers.
In laying out his opposition, Congressman Jones expressed concerns with numerous parts of the plan, including the following:
– Diversion of 43 percent of sand dredged from Morehead City Harbor to Shackleford Banks, despite the fact that, among other things, the National Park Service has never expressed a desire to actually place that sand on the beach;
– The unrealistically high cost of the plan ($11.1 million per year on average), which is almost twice the roughly $6 million in average annual federal appropriations over the past five years;
– The lack of analysis in the plan regarding how sand placement on Shackleford Banks might benefit or harm the wild horses that make their home there.
“I believe there are serious issues with the DMMP in its current form,” said Congressman Jones. “We need a better product here, and I believe we can get it if the federal agencies listen closely to the taxpayers of Carteret County and change the plan to address their concerns.”
Press Release, February 6, 2014