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Is anything being done about the erosion at Snow’s Cut Park?

Gareth McGrath
StarNews
Snow's Cut Park erosion

Erosion at Snow's Cut Park can be seen in this 2001 photo. (StarNews file photo)

Although plans have been floated in the past for some kind of stabilization work at the New Hanover County park that overlooks Snow’s Cut, nothing is currently planned.

Blame a lack of money and a host of other, more pressing needs.

County Parks Director Jim McDaniel said there’s no imminent danger of any of the park’s picnic areas or other facilities falling into the water, and the fences haven’t had to be pulled back in several years.

But he said the park shoreline continues to erode.

“I wish we could do something,” McDaniel said. “But right now there’s no plan to do so.”

Wakes from boats traveling through the man-made channel coupled with the strong tidal currents that rip through the waterway — coming from both Carolina Beach Inlet and the Cape Fear River — are blamed for the erosion of the cut’s sandy banks.

Snow’s Cut erodes at 0.7 acres, or 10,000 cubic yards, per year, according to a 2000 study by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

An estimated 46 acres have washed away since construction of Snow’s Cut began in 1929 as part of the Intracoastal Waterway.

The constant erosion means the corps has to regularly dredge the channel to keep it open.

The corps has talked with local officials about doing some kind of joint project, potentially involving funding from several public sources, to stabilize the shorelines on either side of the waterway.

But an estimate early last decade pegged that cost at more than $12 million, money that was hard to come up with then and would likely be next to impossible to secure in the current political and fiscal climate.

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One Response to “ Is anything being done about the erosion at Snow’s Cut Park?”

  1. On February 1, 2011 at 8:14 am Cristine Cote wrote:

    Thank you so much for answering my question. Let’s hope with the turn in the economy this project along with others will be possible.