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Southport targets erosion caused by ferry wakes


By D.J. Bernard

SOUTHPORT, NC (StarNews) -- Southport resident Dora Loflin says it starts with the first ferry of the day at about 6 a.m. with a slapping sound that gradually turns into giant claps. As the ferry wake moves across the Cape Fear River between Bald Head Island and the Southport waterfront, the water sometimes splashes over her waterfront property seawall, wearing down the sand and seagrass.

"The whole house shakes when the wake hits," said Loflin, who has owned her riverfront home on Bay Street since the mid 1980s.

Residents say the ferry trips between Southport and Bald Head Island, 36 or more a day during peak season, are eroding the land and causing turmoil for property owners. The wakes are so strong they have worn away sand, exposed pilings, and in one case destroyed a boat lift, according to residents.

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