Two NC lawmakers push for federal assistance to protect North Topsail Beach’s shoreline

NORTH TOPSAIL BEACH, NC (WWAY) — On Tuesday, two North Carolina lawmakers introduced legislation with hopes to gain needed federal financial assistance to protect the shoreline on North Topsail Beach.

Congressmen Greg Murphy, M.D. (NC-03) and David Rouzer (NC-07) are pushing to revise the boundaries  of Unit L06 of the John H. Chafee Coastal Barrier Resources System.

In 1982, Congress passed the Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA), which designates undeveloped coastal barrier islands for inclusion in the Coastal Barrier Resources System (CBRS). These designated areas are ineligible for certain federal financial assistance that may support development, such as National Flood Insurance, VA loans and shore protection projects conducted by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

A portion of North Topsail Beach, designated as Unit L06, was deemed undeveloped and therefore included in the CBRS. However, the lawmakers say significant infrastructure existed in L06 prior to the CBRA’s passage, including roads, sewer, electric, public water systems, and a high-rise bridge connecting the island to the mainland. The population of the town is estimated to be nearly 30,000 during the summertime.

“There’s no question that North Topsail Beach is a developed area,” said Murphy. “Residents there shouldn’t be deprived of the same federal benefits every other American has access to because Congress made a mistake nearly four decades ago. I’m proud to lead the effort to fix this problem in the U.S House of Representatives.”

“I’m pleased to join Congressman Murphy in the effort to help North Topsail Beach receive the federal resources they deserve,” said Rouzer. “The 1982 CBRA designation is outdated and must be reversed in order to increase shoreline protection in North Topsail Beach, as well as to support their citizens and local economies.”

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