Hearing set on Figure Eight terminal groin

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Residents will have the chance to comment on a revised environmental impact statement on Figure Eight Island’s plan to build an erosion-control structure, known as a terminal groin, at a public hearing scheduled for Sept. 2.

The hearing by the Army Corps of Engineers will be at 6:30 p.m. at Ogden Elementary School, 3637 Middle Sound Loop Road. Written comments will be accepted through Sept. 14.

The controversial project is the result of the General Assembly’s vote several years ago to end a longstanding ban on hardened erosion-control structures along the North Carolina coast. The project would be funded entirely by the Figure Eight Homeowners Association.

The homeowners association says the terminal groin – so named because such structures are built along inlets, where islands end and erosion can quickly eat away sand – is needed to protect the island and its hundreds of millions of dollars of property value.

Environmental groups and some coastal experts worry that installing the steel- or concrete-and-rock structure could block access to the public beach, which extends to the mean high water line, and worsen erosion in other stretches of the oceanfront.

To comment in writing, mail comments to Mickey Sugg at the Wilmington Regulatory Field Office, 69 Darlington Ave., Wilmington, NC 28403, or email him at mickey.t.sugg@usace.army.mil.

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