SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — After years of dealing with erosion along the coast in Surf City, the town now has a plan in place to renourish the beaches.
Erosion is always a concern at local beaches, especially following a major storm. But Surf City has been working towards a solution for over a decade.
“We’ve been working, trying to get a federal project for twenty years, and finally got it,” Surf City Mayor Doug Medlin said. “So we’re ready to go now.”
While the project is set to cost millions of dollars, Surf City has been building funds through taxes over the last seven years.
“We added a ten cent tax, we already had a five cent tax, and then we added another ten cent tax on to help pay for this,” Medlin said. “So by doing that we have been able to build our coffers up enough to pay for our initial project that we will be doing now. Then it will bring in enough to do the beach renourishment as we go through time.”
The plan to completely overhaul the beaches of Surf City is a major undertaking. But Surf City resident Yogi Paliotti says the cost and time spent on the project will be worth it.
“The main thing I’m concerned about with beach renourishment is to protect our beaches from the storms we’re gonna receive,” Paliotti said. “These sand dunes are our lifeline, it’s what keeps the ocean from washing over the island. So we’ve got to have strong, steady dunes.”
Many residents have more interest in the project than just protecting the beaches. A steady flow of people to the island’s beaches is vital to the local economy.
“Tourism is our mainstay here on this island,” Paliotti said. “If it wasn’t for the beaches, we would have no business. Businesses wouldn’t be able to make it through the winter. So we’ve got to protect our beaches at all costs.”
The project to renourish the beach is being done in conjunction with North Topsail Beach, who is paying for 40 percent of the overall cost.
The initial project is set to begin in mid-December. Once that is complete, the plan is to renourish the beaches every six years for the next five decades.