A lot of groups in the Cape Fear region have come out publicly to take a stand against the proposed Titan America cement plant in Castle Hayne. On Sunday, the Wilmington surf community stepped up to the plate to add their name to the mix. Reach the Beach featured live music from Big Al Hall and the Massive Stimulus Package. They provided a relaxing backdrop for the Sunday afternoon affair organized by the Friends of the Lower Cape Fear. "I think it's important to get people out who love the water and the environment out raising money for the Stop Titan effort, which really has the potential to pollute our water and air,” said Adam Shay of the Surfrider Foundation. Thirty folks made a grand entrance at the Ocean Grill Pier in Carolina Beach. Not arriving by foot or by car, instead they arrived on their paddleboards. "We came out today with a bunch of paddle boards, going from pier to pier in order to support the cause. People were out there in canoes, and kayaks and longboarders were paddling along with standup paddleboarders, so everybody came together. We're all for helping to protect the environment, and to sustain the clean air and ocean for the future,” explained Jeoffrey Nathan. Carolina Cement, a subsidiary of Titan America, has plans to build a cement plant along the Cape Fear River in Castle Hayne. New Hanover County offered the company tax incentives to come here, with the promise of jobs and added revenue. Some residents are concerned the risk isn't worth the reward. "I believe all of the children will be affected by this, and it will end up being a negative thing for the entire community,” said Jamie Walker. Children are worried too. "I'm still developing. I'm still growing and I’d rather live in a clean environment rather than one that's polluted with mercury in the water and air because I’d rather live a long life than an unhealthy and ill one,” said Noble Middle School student Henry Burnett. The whole process is at the environmental review stage. The federal study on the plant's impacts could take up to two years to complete. Earlier this month, the North Carolina Coastal Federation asked Governor Perdue to delay state permits on the cement plant until the environmental effects study is complete. A representative for Carolina Cement says there is no logic in delaying the permit, and the company will continue to follow the process.
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