CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — Hours after the United States Coast Guard announced they were going to remove navigational buoys from Carolina Beach Inlet, New Hanover County said they are working with state partners and the US Army Corps of Engineers to begin a dredging project in April.
The U.S. Coast Guard had expressed a concern that its vessel used to move buoys could not access and relocate the buoys, which aid navigation, until the inlet was dredged.
According to a news release, New Hanover County staff are working with the Corps of Engineers to coordinate a schedule for the dredging project and anticipate it will commence by mid-April.
Following the project, the US Coast Guard’s vessels will be able to move buoys to provide boaters safe guides through the inlet. The schedule should allay concerns that the Coast Guard would not provide navigational aids for the inlet.
“This is not a funding issue,” Jonathan Barfield Jr., New Hanover County Board of Commissioners chairman, said. “The issue was one of timing involving dredging vessels and the Coast Guard’s capacity to safely relocate the inlet’s buoys.”
New Hanover County and state partners have provided a total of $1,020,000 that is in the US Army Corps of Engineers coffers for dredging the inlet once a vessel becomes available.