NC megaport opponents turn to seashore project

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Submitted: Wed, 12/26/2012 - 2:12am
Updated: Wed, 01/23/2013 - 1:37pm

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – The people who fought a megaport on North Carolina’s coast are in the early stages of trying to preserve much of the same area along the lower Cape Fear River.

Mike Rice and Toby Bronstein of the nonprofit Save the Cape have leased office space in Southport for their effort to protect roughly 25,000 acres from development. They point to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore as an area that’s worked under similar circumstances.

They face opposition from the Brunswick County Economic Development Commission. Executive Director Jim Bradshaw says the area should be developed for industry. The state ports authority says it has no immediate plans for the 600 acres bought for the port.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)


  • Toby Bronstein says:

    Vog has it exactly right, although he neglects to include the price tag of $6 billion, taxpayer funded, for a deepwater port where the water is not deep. Based on market analysis and economic data, this project was doomed to fail from the beginning. Too bad the Ports Authority spent $30 million on land valued, at that time, of $5 million without first doing their due diligence. Since then, they’ve spent $20 million more!

    Jim Bradshaw irresponsibly pushes this project despite the opposition from Governor Elect Pat McCrory, the NC General Assembly, the six impacted coastal towns and, undoubtedly, Duke Energy. Bear in mind that the land is surrounded on two sides by a twin tower nuclear power plant, which Mr. Bradshaw, while rooting for heavy industry, seems to forget.

    We wonder how Mr. Bradshaw keeps his job. What has he actually done for Brunswick County? We know he promised a deepwater port at Southport to Caterpillar in his presentation materials! Promising a port that doesn’t exist and might never exist to a Fortune 500 company (as though they wouldn’t do their own due diligence!) should have cost him his job on the spot. Not only did he undermine the credibility of the County, but he managed to make the State look foolish as well.

    We are comforted by the fact that everyone told us we could not stop the port.

  • Vog46 says:

    I had to think about this for a minute.
    Why was the Mega Port project doomed?
    First – the channel is not suitable for larger ships – it would require constant dredging along its 23 mile path from Frying Pan to the dock. Its also not wide enough.
    Second – Southport’s infrastructure is almost as old as Wilmington’s.
    Third – Southport is further away from Major highways (I-40, I-95)

    So the very same reasons could be used to say this land would not be suitable for an industrial park – but to dismiss this as a possibility is also bad. I would suggest smart development with some land held back for preservation and the rest held for industrial development.
    The Cape Hatteras National Seashore is a ribbon of land that is not suitable for development aside from the row of houses on either side of the road so its not a good example to use, compared to this land in Southport. But the land in Southport has its own problems…..

    I’m all for preservation but I’m not anti development.


  • JOY HEATH says:


  • Vog46 says:

    Actually Toby the only thing I agree on is that the channel is way too long and requires too much work to keep the so called Megaport viable. I would like to see an 8 lane highway built out to Frying Pan, terminating in a mile long “T” with storage tanks erected on it.
    The highway would be 3 lanes out and 3 lanes in blending into I-40 (the center two lanes would contain above “ground” pipelines). The T would be our megaport taking in oil from supertankers and container ships. There would be no speed limits on this road.
    Heck once built, we could “fill in” the ocean with dredging materials from the Cape Fear all the way out to the T.
    But none of this will happen. The point here is that naturally we are not a deep water port – so we either maintain a deepwater channel or move the port out to deep water – both of which are expensive. As for Hatteras? There should be nothing man made out there.

  • Old Man says:

    Let’s save the area the same way that Cape Hatteras National Seashore was saved…by lying to the public about how it’s being preserved for its use, then denying the public the use of it. While we’re at it, let’s run all the residents out of Brunswick County…especially the Save the Capers…after all, they’re harming the environment by using oxygen and producing harmful byproducts.

  • When I drive over the Cape Fear Memorial Bridge and look towards the NC State Port, all I see is bulkheads, old docks, ship “junk” yards, huge waterfront oil storage tanks, and the Wilmington State Port.

    Ask yourself this, what environmental attraction does this waterfront area promote? Would you visit this area? Would you live in this immediate area? How many restaurants, communities, and hotels are located in this area? Who would go fishing in this area? Would you go swimming in this area? Would you eat fish and oysters harvested from this area?

    NOW, ask yourself this: WHAT WILL HAPPEN AFTER THIS AREA EXPERIENCES FLOODING? Gas/Oil is 2 pounds lighter than water …..This area will be ONE HUGE WASTELAND after a significant flood. It will take centuries for the environment to equalize. This contamination will migrate up and down the Cape Fear River impacting all beaches and towns along its path. It will remain in our vicinity due to tidal “Ebb and Flow”.

    AND, If you believe what the North Carolina State Ports Authority published regarding “job creation”, I challenge you to do your homework. Tell me how many jobs where created in NC in the past 2 years? Tell me the financial status of our state? Tell me if shipping traffic has increased or decreased at our State Ports? Tell me how many people you know that gained employment at the NC State Ports in the past 5 years? (READ THE REPORT by the NC Port Authority)

    IN CONCLUSION, look at the aerial image showing this area of the Cape Fear River:

    When the Cape Fear River floods, where will all this hazardous waste go? Take a look at this photo for a VISUAL REPRESENTATION of the results expected:


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