Wrightsville Beach was visited Tuesday, July 28 by a VIP group from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers traveling from its headquarters and division office in our district and from Washington, DC.
The policy, budget and engineering officials came to observe the results of the recently completed Wrightsville Coastal Storm Damage Reduction Project and to meet town officials. Wrightsville’s beach renourishment project was completed in early June after a delayed start.
The men and women visiting from the corps of engineers were met by Wrightsville Mayor Bill Blair, police chief Dan House and town manager Tim Owens for a walk down the beach strand.
It was also an opportunity for the new Wilmington District Commander — Colonel Kevin Landers, sworn in July 11 — to get an up close look at the newly refurbished beach, the inlet, the jetty and Wrightsville’s south end, from which the sand was taken.
Wilmington is a part of the South Atlantic Division, headquartered in Atlanta. The South Atlantic Division has 3,815 employees and an operating budget of $3.5 billion.
With Landers was Wilbert Paynes, chief of planning and policy for the South Atlantic Division. Paynes is the former chief of the Wilmington District Planning and Environmental Division.
Also present was the district’s corps programs director, Alvin B. Lee, and Washington’s Division Deputy Chief, Stacy E. Brown, who is responsible for execution and implementation of all Civil Works projects within the Southeastern U.S.
Also touring the beach was James Dalton, engineering and construction chief, who began with the corps as a trainee in the Wilmington District. Dalton is now responsible for policy, program and technical expertise in engineering and construction missions worldwide.
Christine Brayman and Cathy Gill from the South Atlantic District were also a part of the group.
Along with the new beach strand, the corps VIPs looked at Masonboro Inlet, which is dredged and reinforced with rocks as part of a reoccurring project.
District project manager Bob Keistler had picture boards to show the visitors how serious the erosion had been before the project began.
Tim Owens said the primary reason for the visit was for the officials from Washington to see firsthand the results of the projects they planned and funded.
email Emmy Errante