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Fight continues against beach erosion, coastal towns hope for terminal groins


A terminal groin is prohibited in the state of North Carolina. So why are town leaders in Holden Beach and other coastal towns fighting for one? They say it is a solution to erosion.

“Suffering damages during hurricanes, property owners are subject to monetary losses whenever their properties are damaged,” said Holden Beach Town Manager David Hewett.

So what is a terminal groin anyway?

It is a structure, sometimes built with rocks, which extends out from the coastline. It’s purpose is to control erosion and stabilize shifting inlets.

Every year, beach towns like Holden Beach spend millions on beach renourishment projects. Many say it has been a costly band-aid trying to stop Mother Nature.

“We would not have to continually nourish the beach once we had a terminal groin in place.”

If passed, Senate Bill 832 would help. The bill is bogged down in a committee, with no future in sight. It would not legalize building a groin, it would only give towns the ability to research it’s benefits.

“We just want the ability to study, analyze, and see if we can prove that it is the right thing to do. We would like to have the opportunity to do it,” Mayor Alan Holden said.

Until the ban on a terminal groin is lifted, town leaders say the east end of Holden Beach will continue to wash away.

Senators Julia Boseman and R.C. Soles support Bill 832.

It has not yet been scheduled for a vote.

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Story summary

videoIt is illegal to build in the state of North Carolina, but some coastal leaders say it may be the one thing that could slow down beach erosion. Holden Beach leaders say they need to build a terminal groin, and it is up to the state legislature to make that happen.

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