State considering port in Southport, Leland

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Submitted: Fri, 02/17/2012 - 3:59am
Updated: Fri, 02/17/2012 - 2:19pm

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The State of North Carolina is still looking at Brunswick County as the potential home for a new deepwater port.

A draft version of the NC Maritime Strategy released this week says the long-discussed site near Southport as well as a piece of land along NC 133 south of Leland are among four places under consideration, as is the existing Port of Wilmington and a site near the Port of Morehead City. The study rules out two other locations up the coast in Pamlico Sound.


Opponents have long argued against the Southport site. The report says Progress Energy and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission also have concerns, because of how close the property is to the company’s nuclear power plant.

The report details what would be needed to make any of the options work. It also discusses other infrastructure improvements needed to expand various aspects of existing port business.

Initiated by the Governor’s Logistics Task Force (GLTF), the North Carolina Maritime Strategy takes a fresh look at North Carolina’s maritime assets and the needs for improvement to ensure that our State remains competitive in the future.


  • Guest1946 says:

    I do not want your pity, just go and leave us alone. First of all, why would anyone want their kids to work in an environment like a state port? It is hard and sometimes very dangerous. I would want my kids to persue something a little more prestigeous. If you decide to move to Athens, cannot afford a ticket, I will gladly provide you with a one-way fare via Greyhound from my little pot of gold that I so carefully and diligently have accumulated over the years. I will still have plenty left, so don’t fret.

  • Guest1946 says:

    First of all, I assume by “carpetbagger”, you are referring to Northerners who come here for the good life. Well, I have lived in NC most of my life and have been in the Southport area for the last 35 years. I repeat, money is not everything. I do live a decent life because I had the sense to manage money well to make it that way. Just because you did not does not make me want a third major hazard in my back yard so that you can have a job. Go somewhere else to live and work. I think a new Caterpillar plant is going to open in Athens, Georgia.

  • MikeT says:

    Honey could you throw in a couple of passes to the Masters or invite me to your private box? If so I might take up your offer.

  • Guest1946 says:

    No dice……the Masters is only for those who are not crying the blues for a petty job.

  • Mike T says:

    is a parasite that feeds on the misfortune of the weak and down trodden.
    A CarpetBagger doesn’t belong and is foreign to their surroundings. I don’t care where you come from, Honey your a CarpetBagger. Keep managing your tight little pot of gold that somebody must have given you. My interest is not a job for me but a quality job and lifestyle that was available for me to enjoy, for all the sons and daughters of our region. Brunswick County and SE NC has lost some 3,000 job opportunities in the last 4 months and you don’t give a S###. Your answer to our citizens is move to Athens, I pity you!!

  • Mike T says:

    You must be one of those transplant carpetbaggers who moved in with your saddle bags loaded. Why don’t you get busy telling your story to the 15% unemployed around this region. I had a conversation last week with a college grad that had recently lost his $48,000.00 dollar a yr. job of 5 years. He just applied for a delivery truck route job that pays just over $8.00 dollars per hour with no benefits. He was told 75 others had applied ahead of him. How dare you speak that economic impact is not important! Today it’s everything. Money isn’t everything sport until you don’t have any, until you can’t pay your bills, until you can’t feed your family, or get medical attention. Then it becomes pretty damn important.

  • Toby Bronstein says:

    In a feasibility study performed by TEC/PF Richardson, and delivered to the NC State Ports Authority in June of 2010, the cost for the megaport at Southport was pegged at $4.4 billion. The new NC Maritime Strategy studies projects the cost to now be a cool $6 billion. That’s a $1.2 BILLION explosion in less than two years.

    Whether $6 billion, $10 billion or $20 billion is spent on this project, the Post Panamax vessels still won’t come. We are 20 years behind the curve and can’t possibly compete with the likes of Charleston, Norfolk and Savannah. They’re expanding existing infrastructure and deepening already deeper harbors. 80% of NC companies currently use competing ports in neighboring states.

    Geography and economic realities can’t be changed by wishing them away or by spending $6 billion on this sinking ship. It’s way past the time for the Gov and NC Ports Authority to acknowledge these realities and pull the plug on this project. $48 million has already been spent. Enough is enough.

  • Observer says:

    You and your ilk continue to wage an agenda-driven, non-objective and spacious campaign to discredit economic advancement within Brunswick County.

    Fact is, Ms. Bronstein, your standpoint is golf, turtle watching, gated community frivolities, swamp preservation = good;economic development,opportunities for families to succeed through work, an expanded tax base = bad.

    No Port has been nothing other than an avenue for northeastern “superior minds”,asset-rich retirees and gated community zealots to bring an Old South plantation mentality to the fore. Economic racism is alive and well in Brunswick County.NoPort and characters like Toby are in delightfully reveling in their myopic power trip.

  • Old Man says:

    Not only do I agree, but will go even further to say that the existing port is a waste of time and money, and causes huge environmental damage to the entire Cape Fear basin. The constant channel deepening has caused salt water intrusion all the way to Lock & Dam #1…Wilmington’s water supply would be toast if not for the dam, and with sturgeon being added to the endangered species list, that may have to be removed. The state needs to pull the plug on the idea of trying to compete with Charleston and Norfolk, and shut the whole thing down.

  • Meg says:

    Charleston is not going to sit idly and allow us to open a megaport in NC. It will be a race to the bottom to bring in business by lowering the cost of using the port. This will benefit no one. This report shows that the cons way outweigh the pros in this gamble:

    “Many of the container terminal alternatives considered along the Cape Fear River (Port of Wilmington, River Road, and Southport sites) would require deepening and widening of the existing channel”. The dredging that will have to take place to accommodate large ships will allow more saltwater to travel up the river. This could compromise the city’s drinking water since most of it comes from the river. “The new channel alignment may accelerate erosion on nearby beaches by disrupting the existing longshore sediment transport system at the mouth of the Cape Fear River and result in the loss of sea turtle nesting habitat”. We are already spending millions to renourish our beaches, why would we want to do anything to exacerbate that issue? Our tax dollars pay for the sand to be pumped onto the beaches and this will cause us to renourish even more often.

    “Public health research in California has demonstrated that air emissions resulting from port activities can be tied to negative health impacts, including premature death”.

    In an economic study, “researchers concluded that the ports studied had a negative effect on employment and poverty rates in the nearby neighborhoods”. Is that what we really want for Brunswick County?

    We don’t have the infrastructure to move anything from the port, so it will cost additional money, time, and land to develop the infrastructure to move these goods.

    Is there anything about this port that is worth all of these consequences? We don’t need this port. All of the Environmental Impact Assessments have shown that this port is nothing but bad news and the proponents of the port just keep paying to have another assessment done hoping that the results are different. Let’s invest in ecotourism and other businesses that will support our community without all of the associated baggage of a port.

  • Guest 4545 says:

    The port of Wilmington squeezed between Norfolk, Charleston and Savannah will forever be a non-competitor.
    And the reason for this statement is; the infrastructure does not exist. The roads and rail lines are just not there. Freight can be moved faster out of Charleston and Savannah with I-20 and I-26 already in place.
    Freight coming out of Wilmington is not destined for eastern NC, it is destined for points west, north and south; time is money. Importers want their freight as soon as it hits the ground, it has already been at sea for 4 or 5 weeks coming from China or where ever. Vessels are not like airplanes, they don’t go point to point, there are a lot of stops in a trans-Pacific voyage and there is still the matter of the Panama Canal.
    The port should not try to be something it will never be at the taxpayers expense. Never forget the Trans Global Park in Kinston, all that has done is drain public tax dollars.

  • Darien says:

    So many people are against the port, for the most part they have already made their fortune, built there vacation homes, their children have gone on to college and have a good job working some other place then South eastern north Carolina…. The Wilmington port has been GREAT for Wilmington… why shouldn’t our children have a chance at real jobs, something other then waiting tables and cleaning rooms for tourist four months out of the year?

  • Mike T says:

    The NC Maritime report seems headed in one direction. Build on the Cape Fear. Wilmington Expansion is the cheaper method however channel maintenance would be colossal and expansion impossible. Southport appears most logical except for being close to power station. Seems like Brunswick County could be the big winner with the tremendous infrastructure improvements required.
    If Cape Fear is the location the number of ships and the levels of pollution are going to be the same no matter the physical location. It appears the state will favor the building of a mega port in our future.
    To the benefit of all river traffic it seems only logical to build the port on the Southport site. Considering the economic impact to Southeast NC we should all get behind this project and work with the state to make sure its done right!!

  • Guest1946 says:

    Those of us who live here are considering many other adverse impacts other than economic. Money is not everything. Let them build this albatross somewhere that so many residents will not be affected. There are 2 hazards here now, why bring in a third?

  • j says:

    weporter only vacation in oak island but I am against the megaport in southport. the megaport in Virginia isn’t even used to its full capacity yet they want to spend millions of dollars to build a new one in another area? not to mention the environmental risks and the destruction of important ecological areas?

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