In breaking news, the sand and sand bars of North Carolina’s Outer Banks are prone to shifting, moving and overall change. What once was impassable water often turns into a navigable channel. In a similar manner, mother nature may decide that she would like to “fallow” a section of the sea from time to time.
This should not surprise any one. Or alarm them.
But the expectations and actions of our government is both surprising AND alarming.
As it turns out, Oregon Inlet is a prominent fishing ground for North Carolina fishermen. In fact, according to one fleet owner:
…he normally would have 20 to 30 commercial fishing boats unloading their catch at his dock, but the dock was empty Monday morning.
Is there a fix to dancing the dance with afore mentioned Mother Nature? Sure:
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is dredging the inlet daily, but it doesn’t have the money to keep the Outer Banks channel at its congressionally authorized 14-foot depth by Bonner Bridge.
Dredging works. Not surprisingly dredging costs money. In fact, it costs a lot of money:
The Corps of Engineers estimates that restoring the inlet to at least 14 feet deep – and keeping it that way – would cost $20 million.
The next federal budget allocates only $1 million to the project.
And the solution? Why, the solution is obvious but only in the context of the State:
The governor’s office says the Outer Banks region and the state could lose about $700 million a year if the inlet is closed.
“It would foul us up bad. It would take away from the community as a whole,” Maxwell said. “It’s bad for the motels. It’s bad for the restaurants. It’s bad for all of it.”
I have an idea. If the region is going to lose $700 million if the dredging doesn’t take place, why doesn’t the fishing community, the motels, the restaurants and “all of it” pitch in the lousy $20 million for the dredge?
Nahh…..better that some poor sap in Arizona be fleeced out of his money and have it sent to NC to subsidize those guys!