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Will a terminal groin or hardened structure on Figure Eight Island cause Rich’s Inlet to close?

Kevin Maurer

The terminal groin at Fort Macon State Park on the east end of Bogue Banks. It is one of two terminal groins in North Carolina, the other on Pea Island on the Outer Banks. StarNews photo by Gareth McGrath.

No, according to David Kellam, administrator of Figure Eight Island.

“All indications is certainly not,” he said.

He said environmental impact studies by state and federal level don’t show the inlet closing. A feasibility study examined every available option to curtail erosion – including realigning Rich Inlet – and found that a permanent structure was the most effective, and least damaging, solution.

Terminal groins are long walls, often made of stone, designed to mitigate shoreline erosion by extending into the water perpendicular to the coast, to trap drifting sand. Terminal groins are low jetties, smaller and lower profile than the jetties on either side of Masonboro Inlet at the south end of Wrightsville Beach.

Previously prohibited under state law, terminal groins became legal last year when the General Assembly voted to allow the permitting of up to four structures along the coast in 2010.

When the legislation passed, that document was expanded to include a proposed terminal groin on the north end of the island, meaning that of the four beach towns pursuing permits – others include Holden Beach, Ocean Isle Beach and Bald Head Island – Figure Eight Island is furthest along.


What is Figure Eight Island?

When did the high tides on Topsail Island take over the beach? Can anything be done to reclaim it?


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3 Responses to “ Will a terminal groin or hardened structure on Figure Eight Island cause Rich’s Inlet to close?”

  1. On February 11, 2013 at 1:44 pm Robbin Banks wrote:

    Uh, asking David Kellam about this is like asking the fox to guard the hen house. Of course he’s going to say what he said! He’s the one leading the effort to build the darn thing!

    You should have asked one of the state’s world-renowned coastal geologists (not one who is a paid consultant for the Figure 8 Island Homeowner’s Association) what they think.

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