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What is the history of the desalination plant that used to be where the Wrightsville Beach Town Hall is now?

David Ennis

Commonly called the federal saline plant, the facility was completed in 1972 and was the base for investigations of federally funded seawater desalination until the Office of Water Research and Technology was abolished in 1982, according to StarNews archives. Funding for the agency’s remaining research programs in Wrightsville Beach and New Mexico ended then, and the town of Wrightsville Beach took over the plant and surrounding land in 1984 for its new municipal office complex. Part of the Harbor Island plant is still in involved in research, however. The town leases it to the University of North Carolina Wilmington for marine aquaculture research.

User-contributed question by:
Kent Atkins

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