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Port or no port in Southport?

READ MORE: Port or no port in Southport?
The group No Port Southport said the previously approved terminal will not only destroy the environment and residential community in Southport, but also cost tax payers billions of dollars. It's been more than two years since the Southport Board of Aldermen voted in support of a $2.3 billion port project off the coast. Now, an alderman elected since that decision, is trying to change that stance. “I would like to see that resolution rescinded since we have no more information than we did two years ago, and realize that this is not good for Southport, this is not good for Southport business, not good for people who own property, it's just not a good idea,” said Ed Boguskie. Southport is one of the fastest growing retirement communities in the country, but what concerns residents the most is that a port might take away from its small town charm. No Port Southport said the environmental repercussions of building a port near a residential town is only one of their concerns. Based on studies of other port districts across the country, No Port Southport said income and real estate values in the area will go down. Unemployment and rates of poverty will go up. They also say the infrastructure will end up being subsidized by the tax payers. Susan Toth, a No Port Southport member, said, "The city of Southport, Brunswick County, and the state of North Carolina, are going to be obligated to pay millions of dollars in taxes.” No Port Southport is holding a meeting Thursday night at 7:00pm to discuss the economic costs of locating an international container port in the heart of Southport.

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Calling people who oppose the port in Southport NIMBY's does nothing to further the debate. I've been to No Port's public meetings and the information they provide is extremely compelling. At their most recent meeting, the topic was economics. I can only assume that many of the people posting here did not attend, nor are they interested in objective facts. Dr. Curt Stiles of the Cameron School of Management was a guest speaker. Not only did he validate No Port's analysis, but insisted that the Port Authority's job claims were simply unsupportable. If you support the port, at least come to that conclusion based on hard facts and not the magical thinking on the part of the Ports Authority.

We need it!!

Look people when you moved into the area you knew that the Cape Fear River was one of the largest port systems on the east. If you want a small town feeling move to South Georgia. This will help pick up our economy, full speed ahead!

No Port Southport

One can only hope that there is a follow up article concerning what was said at the No Port Southport meeting on 1/22. Such an article would reveal that multiple studies of container ports around the country have shown that the local area DOES NOT benefit economically from the presence of a port. In fact, the local area suffers declines in employment, income and real estate values. In addition, studies done at UNC-W show that the economic basis on which the NC Ports Authority has built their case for the port are unfounded. So all of you hoping that a port would be a boon to south east Brunswick county will be sadly mistaken. Not only won't there be many new jobs, the environment will be severely degraded. Don't be taken in by the bogus comments from the Ports Authority about thousands of new jobs, they won't be there...

These studies are inacurate because of the way they ar portrayed

After reading the Star New and learning of who was behind the no port issue I have a little clarity. For starters they are retirees that have moved here and want to create their own little haven at the expense of those that have always been here.
Studies indicating a rise in unemployment in port areas are inaccurate! Currently there is a rise in unemployment everywhere! The job losses at current ports in the country may show that unemployment rates increased in these areas but these lost jobs did not exist until the ports were built! Therefore it is not a loss of existing jobs but a scaling back of the new jobs due to overseas competition and due to trade deficits!
Ports still bring an abundance of cash flow to the areas they are in. Dundalk Marine Terminal in Maryland has remained competitive and has added services including a Cruse Ship terminal since the waning due to the losses of the steel industry with Bethlehem Steel at their peak.
As far as damaging the environment goes ...sure that happened in many of the areas and there are other industrial site in the US which became EPA Superfund Clean Up sites...many of them in New Jersey where No Ports founder is from. The facts are not being presented in a 100% open fashion but they are rather only presenting some of the facts in a smear campaign! Politics in it's purest form...mis-information a a little spinning of facts to suit ones personal wants and needs never mind the needs of the many....Lets just appease the wants of the few....those with the power and the money to get what they want!
Environmental Standards in place now would NOT allow improper design functions and procedure to be a part of building or operating a port in Southport. Those type of type of things are not allowed in industry anymore and with the community watchdogs in the area you can bet there will be tremendous over-site on this project to make sure everything is done properly. What is also failing to be mentioned is the fact that whether a new port employees 75, 175 or 1075 employees is that there will be a trickle down effect of work and money pumping into all the outside support systems that will be needed to operate a new port. Restaurants, Gas Stations, Mechanics for trucking, maintenance to the road systems and supply vehicles in and out of the port. This Port will benefit not only this are but the whole state as it will all be required to give the support systems a Port will need. Then there are the warehouse for storing what comes in and the distribution centers for shipping these products around the country! Somebody will have to work in these places that will not exist without this port.
It is extremely selfish and self centered for people to come into this area and then attempt to stop the biggest project that could ever come here to help all of those suffering in this recession we are in. You may have made your money and retired and are obviously willing to say " I'm Doing O.K. Screw the Rest of You"
It's time for all of you to back off and think of someone other than yourselves under the guise of being and environmentalist and a friend to the local citizens because you are neither.
Steve M. Dunn
Southport, BSL

Yes Port Southport

North Carolina New State Port In the small fishing community of Southport, North Carolina is a plan on the way to build an international state port that could handle the new shipping traffic predicted in the next decade. The Port Authority of North Carolina purpose building the port at a 605 acre site outside Southport, the land purpose is located between the Fort Fisher Ferry and the Progress energy intake cannel. “The land currently is being used as a pecan orchard by Pfizer pharmaceutical.”(Barrett) The new port will be able to 3 million twenty foot containers a year. The new international shipping port, planed to go in Southport will not only help the local community economy but also the state economy. The port will add much needed jobs and even more needed tax dollars to the state. Not only adding to the economy but will also be a great assets to the United States military. Also this project will also help improve our infrastructure at a much faster rate than it is moving now. With the port being much closer to the mouth of the river than the current Wilmington port will reduce the traffic up river and the chances of an accident. As mention before, the new port is going to play a big role in getting the states economy competitive with the other local states. “The NC International Terminal is forecast to bring nearly one-half million jobs and billions of dollars in tax revenues to the entire State.”(NC State Ports) The port staff will be a small part of the employment growth, most of the employment will be from business and manufacturing plants directly and indirectly involved with using container shipping. “The 11-county southeastern region had an unemployment rate of 5.7 percent in November, compared with 5.1 percent for the state as a whole and 5 percent nationally.”(Southport to be key port) As you can see from current unemployment rate, southeast North Carolina is currently above the national unemployment rate. The need to bring more jobs to North Carolina is necessary; we have lost several manufacturing plants due to our lack of ports able to handle the demand they need. For example: “BMW and Mercedes plants went to the port states of South Carolina and Alabama, respectively, changing those states' economies.”(Southport to be key port) The port will not only help the state economy but will also help the US Military. North Carolina has the most military bases than any other state. “The NC International Terminal will be located next to the Military Ocean Terminal at Sunny Point, a significant military operation. It will support North Carolina’s military growth initiatives. The U.S. Department of Defense has expressed support for a new port that could assist with military deployments.”(NC State Ports) Right now Sunny Point operates a dock for shipping ammunition, but with the new port the military could also help with the mobilization of military and equipment. Since the military could receive great benefits of having the port available for their use, will help in construction of the port and help develop the port for a safer for everyone and the environment and make it more efficient. For this port to be successful it has to have a good inland infrastructure, the only highways leading out of the city is NC 133(to Wilmington), NC 87(to US17 or US 74/US 76), and NC 211(to US 17 or US 74/ US 76). All three highways are two lane and in rough condition. The new port will help improve and four lane these three highways and also build a new road in the future. The new port will take in about eight thousand containers a day, but according to Tom Eager (chief executive officer of the Ports Authority) “Once off the ships, about 75 percent of the cargo would move across the state by rail.”(Southport to be key port) So according to that, roughly two thousand trucks will be use to move that cargo a day spread out in a twenty four hour period. Connecting the existing CXS line will be easy since there is already a line that runs just outside of Southport, all the way to the Pfizer plant right beside the purpose land purchase. The biggest problem most local citizen’s think of when they hear talks of the new port is traffic. They all think that the road system is crowded right now and the port will not help. “Eagar said highway access is among the key obstacles. According to the preliminary agreement between CenterPoint and the authority, they intend to meet with the N.C. Department of Transportation to come up with cost estimates and feasibility studies for the roads needed to accommodate the truck traffic.”(Gannon) They all know the concerns facing the roads in Brunswick County. They are not going to lay a port in Brunswick county with bad highway access. That would be bad business in their part, how would they move their products across land when they are stuck in a grid lock of traffic. As I mention before it would also help our need for better road systems to get built even faster than without the port being built. The next concern that faces the port brought up by a grassroots organization against the port (No Port Southport) is pollution the port will bring in. Right now California passed a new regulation on shipping. “The ship rule was adopted in 2005 and implemented last year. It addressed the use of auxiliary diesel engines within 24 nautical miles of the coast.”(Jones) The senator from California is trying to get a new bill to pass that will make it nation wide. Also with diesel become more expensive and less available, bio fuels are the new upcoming stars. “Biofuels burn cleaner than gasoline, resulting in fewer greenhouse gas emissions, and are fully biodegradable, unlike some fuel additives.”(Department of Energy United States) They all can be use in the truck fleet and trains to reduce carbon emissions. There are ways to help make this port reduce the amount of pollution created and the government is making steps nation wide to make the difference in ports. The other topic that also was brought up by No Port Southport is the quality of life for marine and bird life. As new concern citizens of this world we are even more concern of our effects of wildlife and find ways to live together. When dams where first built they didn’t give much thought about what it could do to the fish population. Now they have installed creative ways to coincide with nature and their massive structures by creating ways for fish to get around them without harm. If the port was adversely effect the population of fish, birds, or another type of wildlife, an agencies will step in to find solutions and alternatives. If these people where so concern about wildlife they would not own a home, use any form of energy or use transportation other than their feet or animal power. Everything we do effects the other inhabits of the Earth but we find creative and manageable ways to live and grow together. In conclusion, the new state port in Southport, North Carolina is a very good ideal and is going to improve the area for local and state residents. The port will add much need jobs and taxes to the whole state. It will improve and get funding to improve our road system. And the military will gain much need assets for mobilization of troops and equipment. Overall it will out weight the negatives and everybody will see that it is a good project for this state to pursue. Work Sited: Barrett, Barbara. "Southport to be key port". The News & Observer. 06/29/08 . Department of Energy United States, "Biofuels & Greenhouse Gas Emissions: Myths versus Facts ". DOE. 7/02/04 . Gannon, Patrick. "Proposed new port in Brunswick County takes step forward". Star News Online. 06/29/08 . Jones, Chris. "Cargo Ships Get Pollution Pass in California". Matter Network. 7/02/04 . "NC State Ports - Economic Development". North Carolina State Ports Authority (NCSPA). 06/29/08 .

Port at Southport

The Port at Wilmington is costing the taxpayers at least 14 million a year. What makes you think the port at Southport will do any better? The port at Southport is planned to be a lot larger so the tax bill will be a lot larger.


The lower Cape Fear river is the only true deep water access to the state. Building a port there is vital to the economic growth of SE NC. There are already mulitiple "ports" in the area so any idea that this is going to damage our area is BS. A comment already posted hits it right on the head...people not from Southport are against it because it may hurt the view. No real concern about the non retired who live here and grew up here that need the jobs. I say build the port!

It will suck the life out of Southport

Simply stated: The proven tidal currents and The channels and prohibitive traffic needed to sustain the port will drain the Cape Fear Basin at a rate that will guarantee that the port will have maintenance needs that far exceed anything nearby. These downstream channels will no longer exists as they once have. Most will become secondary "backup" flood-stage outlet's only. Mainly commercial crab fishing and shrimp trawling and other "in river" species" of fish that are dependent on the tidal flow to propagate the species will suffer. The recent dredging of the river to a 48 foot depth mean high water will be no longer a dependable mark for getting ships to out hometown port. Wilmington will be sucked dry. In more ways than one. Shipping and commercial traffic (taxes), vital species that make this region original (environment), and an East coast port of importance to the Middle East. We cannot have a commercial port between us and our arms and the Middle East or a strike could shut down a war between the Israelis and whoever. That has never been part of the plan. Greed has come to SE NC and it is NOT in out best interest as a city, county, state or country! Atlantic sturgeon blue crab red fish speckled trout ocean flounder spotted flounder cape fear striped bass (recc) cape fear crab fisherman puppy drum These above, are all things that will become rare or gone in the near future with a port like this.

Why would The Port not be a

Why would The Port not be a good idea for young children? At least they would have the opportunity to work a good job with good benefits and be able to retire comfortable. This area has limited good jobs. The retired people have no problem moving here and complaining about everything, including the food. They left the environment that provided a good living for them while they worked because they could not afford the cost of living when they retired but they do not want the people of Brunswick County to be able to enjoy retirement and we HAVE to work to be able to afford the over inflated prices they are bringing with them like property taxes. "No Port Southport" has complained before that no one on the board at The Port is from here, but Laura Wilson is from Wilmington, and the rest are prominent NC business people from across NC that are working to better NC. How many of the committee of "No Port Southport" are from Wilmington or even NC? The Port is enviromentally friendly so why not give them the chance to do their studies and arrive at their plan? You do not see the air around The Port now so thick you cannot see - it is not even noticed. Why would property values go down when you have hard working long shoremen making the money these would make? How many hookers, bars, and tattoo parlors do you see on Burnett Street where The Port is located? Give them a chance to bring jobs and help the economy in this area.

I have raised my children in

I have raised my children in Southport and I'd like for them not to have to move away in order to make a living for their families. There are very few jobs in brunswick county that pay enough to pay the bills. Working for tips in bars and restaurants, serving the retirees and vacationers do not provide a living wage. I'm all for doing anything that will bring industry into the area.

Is it possible?

Is it possible that this is another "NIMBY" (not in my back yard) response to potential growth for the Cape Fear area? I have to admit that I love Southport and it's small town charm that thrives off of tourism and retirees from the north. Not a slice at northerners but, the locals can't afford to retire there unless they've had generations live there prior and own legacy property. Southport is nice, somewhat quaint and touristy, but it is no shining star on the NC coast. We have the beautiful town of Beaufort, Harkers Island, Rodanthe, Hatteras, Corolla, Manteo and on and on and on. It is a fact of life that some small towns will change as progress and industry nears. Look a Cary, NC, it was a one-horse town in the 70's, just like Apex. There are a thousand stories of change that have happened similar to this. The fact is, there is a huge demand for the services of a major port in this area as is proven by the existing port with it's limitations. We need the revenue, we need the economic boom and the jobs. We simply cannot prohibit positive growth in our area at the expense of a small town with a small group of people resistant to change. Change will happen at one point or another, so Southport may as well just get used to it. Take a glimpse back at Wilmington and Wrightsville beach in the late 80's before I-40 was completed. We had a quaint little town that was well off the beaten path and was quiet, not easy to get to. That changed forever with the completion of I-40 and though some tend to shake their head in disgust, I happen to think it's a great place to live and absolutely love it here. I'm not trying to demean anyones homeplace or community and I appreciate the fact that some want to keep things as they are. People in general hate change and resist it at all costs, but it will happen and that's only a solid fact.



No Port Southport

Unfortunately your assertion about the "Huge demand" for a port are not born out by the facts. First, the Port of Wilmington, according to the Port Authority's own report, is not being fully utilized, nor is Moorehead City. Second, multiple studies have shown that the area around a container port suffers economic decline, not growth. In fact, those studies show that the area around such ports realizes lower employment, lower income levels and higher unemployment. Third, making an analogy that the completion of an interstate (I-40) and the insertion of a major source of pollution in the form of a port is unsupportable. With plans for over 5000 diesel truck trips a day to/from such a port in Southport, the ecological impact would be staggering, much more severe than that of a moderately traveled interstate. As you would so easily throw out the "NIMBY" comment, I would retort that you apparently feel that supposed progress is ample argument for destroying a way of life.

No Port

Watching the destruction of our fragile coastal environment - loss of fishing grounds, closed shellfish beds, rivers and streams closed to swimming because of contamination - has made me wary of new businesses that will inflict even further damage. As stewards of the land, we must protect our resources - these resources have sustained a way of life for the past two hundred years in the Southport area. Now we must work to prevent further degradation and protect the things that support and sustain us. Southport and NC does not need the proposed port.


People have to come to light on this. This would me more jobs, more tax $, that would help support local Fire, EMS, Business etc.. So what you will have one less golf course, or bike path. we need this and it should be. they wouldn't be saying this if it was housing no body can afford, or a mall, or super Walmart. well guess what. If you aren't working you don't have money to buy those houses, or shop at walmart. it is money for us


The proposed port could be built more cost effective by only using the railroad only at this location and creating a truck depot near Lumderton at Rt95 as a distribution point for truckers.Most of the rail system is already in place.No need for major road changes.

That's a GREAT idea

I'm not sure that the current track ownership and anticipated traffic wouldn't require some fine tuning and maybe even an additional track, but the idea of going purely intermodal to a depot near I-95 is brilliant. It also diffuses a lot of the NIMBY argument by removing the increased truck traffic. Good job!

State Port

It's interesting to see all of those retired yankee carpetbaggers that have moved here comment about how the new port would be bad for "all of us" North Carolinians. They sound pathetic with their trashy Jersey, Ohio and Penn. accents. They couldn't care less about all of the jobs and money that would be injected into this area. They just want Southport to remain a quaint little antique alley that they can visit occasionally and send happy pictures back "up north".

for guest 5050

You all have a jewel and do not appreciate it. Go ahead and have your port. I am from New Jersey and I just want you to come and visit the Port Of Newark, nj. That will be your future.Check out the crime, drugs and traffic in Newark, NJ.Go ahead, but watch what you wish for-You Might Just Get It.

no port southport

this is for guest5050. Still fighting the civil war. You have a jewel of a location here in Southport and have attracted a lot of admirers from all over the country not just the northeast. There are a lot of transplants, some living here for more than 20 years who want to see Southport and the surrounding area remaine as beautiful as it can be.

No port, no yankees?!?

Kewl! I'd take that deal! In'a minute! By the way Obama and Hillary Clinton want all of us in the state of NC to register our handguns in 90 days and we have a year to register our rifles and shotguns. BB guns and slingshots sometime later.

Port or No Port Southport?.

I don't understand why these people,"No Port Southport" believe that this is a bad idea. The only thing that I agree with in this article is yes, it has been a couple of years and it seems like they are dragging their feet. However, Rome was not built in a day. The most important part of the article and the most truthful part is the sentence, "Southport is one of the fastest growing retirement communities in the country, but what concerns residents the most is that a port might take away from its small town charm." This county is one of the most poverty stricken in the state and has a very high unemployment rate. This port will bring many jobs and pour money into the economy. And help the real people that make this county, the people that build your big houses and wash your big boats. Get off your high horse and recognize what will be best for your community/county and be behind your neighbors even though they may not make as much as you.


Building a "huge" port in one of the most beautiful retirement and residential areas of the state of North Carolina is one of the most demeaning actions against the residents of Southeast North Carolina. Not good for the elderly, Not good for the young children, NOT GOOD for the future of SE Brunswick County!

not good for who?

Ted, before you speak for me and my children you need to understand that I have lived in NC all my life and I have seen and been a victim of business and industry leaving because of the State's failing infrastructure. I have also had rising insurance and property taxes that one could attribute to lower receipt of revenues as business and industry has left. The goverment has to get revenue from somewhere, when there is no business for tax revenue then us citizens have to pay up. As my children grow and look to start their own families I would hate to see them have to leave this area or NC because there are no good jobs for them to support their families. I would ask that you consider that added tax revenues from business growth due to the new port may help lower our own property and state taxes. A successful port will help improve our roads and access out of the area if we ever had to evacuate for storms or the nuclear plant. Lower taxes and better routes in and out can only benefit the community at large. People need to stop thinking only about their own personal views and take into account the overall good of all citizens.

NC Port

Maybe some of you nay sayers need to come to central NC and observe the trucking rigs setting idle. An increase in the capacity of our Port syatem will allow a greater varity of goods to be imported and exported from our state. This is not about Southport it is about the economy of the entire state of NC from Manteo to Murphy.