New Hanover County is actively working with state partners and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to begin the Carolina Beach Inlet dredging project as early as this month.
“The U.S. Coast Guard had expressed a concern that its vessel used to move buoys could not access and relocate the buoys, which aid navigation, until the inlet was dredged. New Hanover County staff are working with the Corps of Engineers to coordinate a schedule for the dredging project and anticipate it will commence by mid-April,” the county said in its release.
New Hanover County and state partners have provided a total of over $1 million that is in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers coffers for the dredging project.
“This is not a funding issue,” said Jonathan Barfield Jr., chairman of the New Hanover County Board of Commissioners. “The issue was one of timing involving dredging vessels and the Coast Guard’s capacity to safely relocate the inlet’s buoys.”
Following the project, the U.S. Coast Guard’s vessels will be able to move buoys to provide boaters safe guides through the inlet, according to the announcement. The schedule should allay concerns that the Coast Guard would not provide navigational aids for the inlet.