Target: North Carolina Governor, Patrick McCrory
Goal: Prevent construction of hardened structures on the North Carolina coast
Senate Bill 151 is a recently proposed North Carolina bill that would allow the construction of an unlimited number of hardened structures on the state’s previously unmarred beaches. Hardened structures, commonly known as jetties or groins, are typically used as a means to slow beach erosion by impeding long shore drift. However, many studies have revealed a major flaw in using hardened structures as a means of controlling erosion – often times, erosion is reduced at the site of a given hardened structure only to occur at another previously non-threatened area. Furthermore, these structures can actually increase erosion in areas that were already susceptible to weathering.
The new bill aims to protect sandy areas at the foot of multi-million dollar beachfront homes. In 2011, the state allowed for the construction of just four hardened structures along its beaches, revising a previous ban on any structure of the kind. The permission to construct these four structures came as a response to increasing concern over erosion at four of North Carolina’s southern beaches. Furthermore, it ensured the protection of North Carolina taxpayers by making certain that those whose homes were not threatened would not have to pay for the costly construction of hardened structures. However, complaints that the 2011 law was too restrictive have led to the newly proposed bill, which would allow the construction of any number of damaging structures all along the state’s coast.
Environmentalists and geologists have worked to stop this shortsighted bill from passing. They argue that hardened structures create more damage than they do good, and the long-term effects of these structures on other areas of beach are still unknown. The environmental impact of unlimited hardened structures could severely degrade the natural shape and beauty of the state’s coastline. Furthermore, the new bill removes protection for taxpayers, making the legislation both environmentally risky and potentially unjustly expensive.
Urge North Carolina Governor McCrory to stop Senate Bill 151 from passing, and therefore help to protect North Carolina beaches from increased erosion as a result of hardened structures.
Dear Governor Patrick McCrory,
Senate Bill 151 aims to protect the multimillion-dollar beachfront homes along North Carolina’s coast through the construction of jetties or groins. While it is true that these structures often help to decrease erosion at the specific site where they are constructed, they commonly lead to increased erosion and coastline destruction at other locations. Often, these new locations were never originally threatened by erosion.
The new bill to construct an unlimited number of hardened structures along North Carolina beaches has long-term effects that are potentially disastrous to the natural beauty of the state’s many beaches. Furthermore, it takes away protections for taxpayers that were set in place in 2011. Ultimately, the new bill would be environmentally irresponsible as well as costly.
I strongly urge you to prevent this bill from becoming law, and therefore help to protect North Carolina’s beaches.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Bud Davis via Wikimedia Commons