Figure Eight Island Study Released

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington District, has released the required supplemental environmental study for a proposed project to build a terminal groin and pump sand onto the beach to protect homes threatened by erosion on Figure Eight Island in New Hanover County.

The so-called Figure Eight Island Shoreline Management Project includes plans to install a 1,500-foot terminal groin at the north end of the island on Rich Inlet and to pump sand on about 4,500 feet of oceanfront beach and 1,400 feet of soundside shoreline.

The latest document is an update to the Corps’ 2012 draft study.

Following pressure by environmental groups, the Corps decided to further study the potential effects after the private island’s homeowners association’s board of directors submitted a new design and location not included in the original study.

The currently preferred design is a longer, larger structure more than 400 feet farther north than the alternatives listed in the original study. Corps officials called the change a “minor variation” of the originally preferred alternative.

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