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Common Sense, I'm assuming you have an oceanfront home. Whether or not your insurance paid for you to rebuild your home in the exact location after it was destryoed by a hurricane is beside the point. Local governments in our area have spent millions of taxpayer dollars over the past decades to take sand from offshore and from inlets in an attempt to halt beach erosion because of the mere existence of homes such as yours. This money INDEED comes out of taxpayers pockets. As sea-level rises, a beach's natural response is to move landward. With so many homes built so close to the advancing sea, local governments have clamored, not to protect the beach, but to protect the tax base that million dollar ocean front homes provide. Sea level has been rising for the past 20,000 years and barrier islands have survived by rolling over themselves and moving landward with the sea. The huge amount of infrastructure we have placed on the oceanfront makes this natural process impossible. This region of North Carolina, unlike the northern Outer Banks, has a paucity of sand supplies offshore. Communites such as North Topsail Beach have gone through extensive environmental permitting, at a huge expense to the taxpayers, to protect homes built too close to the ocean, only to find there's little sand available for the type of nourishment projects needed to hold "a line in the sand." It may not be tomorrow, but at some point in time there will be little local communities can do little to protect the "tax base" that is these oceanfront homes. Having the money to build a 4000 sf home right behind the primary dune doesn't mean it's the responsible thing to do. If you want to rebuild your home in the same location, I suggest you and your fellow oceanfront homeowner's take a page from Figure Eight Island's book and chip in $20,000 per household each time you want to renourish the beach - say every 4-5 years. I expect you'll have a different view when it's coming out of your pocket. At some point in time, we must begin to move back from the sea. The Rich Inlet Relocation Project was conducted because the the inlet had migrated to the base of the Shell Island Resort, which provides a large tax base to New Hanover County. After millions of local, state and federal taxpayer dollars were spent for that project, continued maintenance is required to hold the inlet in that location which will take millions more of taxpayer dollars in the future. Barrier Islands are inherently dynamic systems. To insist we bend the natural environment to our will, or stupidity, seems a bit egotisical to me.
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