Supporters say the hardened structures are effective at controlling erosion. But critics have long argued while terminal groins may protect one area, they cause further damage to other properties down the coastline.
Orange County Senator Ellie Kinnaird argued that she was greatly concerned about the push to strip away environmental protections:
“They are now allowing the terminal groins in the 14 inlets, and there are practically no restrictions,” explained Kinnaird. “So, what we are doing essentially is turning our beautiful North Carolina beaches into New Jersey. Do really want to look like New Jersey? Or do we want to keep our beaches what they have been for all of these years – a wonderful sweep of clean beach.”
Senate Majority Leader Harry Brown suggested it was time to let those who live at the beach year-round take care of the coast:
“I try not to get up here in meddle in your stuff…but it sure seems like everyone wants to get involved in the coast,” said Brown.
The N.C. Coastal Federation has also voiced reservations about the legislation which weakens safeguards put in place in a 2011 bill.
Senate Bill 151 passed third reading (36-11) and now moves to the House. To hear a portion of Wednesday’s debate, click below: