The Release of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and the Announcement of a Public Hearing for the North Topsail Beach Shoreline Protection Project, in North Topsail Beach, Onslow County, NC
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (COE), Wilmington District, Wilmington Regulatory Field Office has received a request for Department of the Army authorization, pursuant to Section 404 of the Clean Water Act and Section 10 of the Rivers and Harbors Act, from the Town of North Topsail Beach to nourish approximately 11.1 miles of beachfront to protect residential homes and town infrastructures, to reposition the New River Inlet channel, and to implement an inlet management plan to control the positioning of the new inlet channel, and to conduct periodic renourishment events. The new channel will be centrally located and the proposal will be to maintain that position, which essentially will be located perpendicular to the adjacent shorelines of North Topsail Beach and Onslow Beach. The proposed source of the material for the nourishment will be dredged from an offshore borrow area and from the repositioning of the inlet. The projected amount of material needed to nourish the oceanfront shoreline is approximately 3.21 million cubic yards. The placement of beach fill along the Town's shoreline would result in the initial widening of the beach by 50 to 100 feet. The widened beach would be maintained through a program of periodic beach nourishment events with the material extracted from the New River Inlet; and if necessary, supplemental materials from the offshore borrow area. All work will be accomplished using a hydraulic dredge. The proposed project construction will be conducted in a five phase approach to correspond with the Town's anticipated annual generation of funds. The ocean shoreline of the Town of North Topsail Beach encompasses approximately 11.1 miles along the northern end of Topsail Island. Of the 11.1 miles, approximately 7.25-miles of the shoreline in the project area, with the exception of two small areas, is located within the Coastal Barrier Resource System (CBRS), which prohibits the expenditure of Federal funds that would encourage development. The channel through New River Inlet has been maintained by the COE for commercial and recreational boating interest for over 55 years. The COE is authorized to maintain the channel in the inlet to a depth of 6 feet mean low water (mlw) over a width of 90 feet.