Fishing, charter and diving boat operators in Carolina Beach know how important it is to have navigable inlets. Last week, the House of Representatives came up with an estimated $18.5 million dollar federal budget for coastal projects in southeastern North Carolina. That funding, however, does not include dredging shallow inlets by our local beaches. These inlets are the one way tourists and boating vessels can gain access to towns like Carolina Beach and Wrightsville Beach. Cape Fear Divers Captain Guy Carleton said, "We navigate in and out of the inlet via a series of buoys, and it changes periodically with the shifting sands. So without a dredge coming through there, a big storm comes through and pushes the sand out there. It makes it extremely difficult to navigate through there." The federal budget is still just in the preliminary stages. Representative Mike McIntyre hopes the Senate can add funds for such dredging projects.
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