Raleigh, N.C. — The state would create a task force to study acquiring Oregon Inlet and adjacent land under a bill that cleared the state Senate Thursday.
Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, offered the measure as an amendment to House Bill 707, a measure mostly aimed at keeping shallow draft navigation channels clear.
"I think it's important to take a look at what's going on in Oregon Inlet and this task force will do that," Brown said.
A similar measure was included as part of the Senate budget. However, placing it in a separate bill would give the task force a second pathway to creation and keep it from being lost in high-stakes negotiations between the House and Senate on the budget.
Coastal business owners support such a move, saying they are frustrated with frequent impassibility of the inlet.
The bill will return to the House, where lawmakers will have a choice between accepting the Senate changes and sending the bill on to the governor or sending the bill to a House-Senate conference committee to negotiate a final version.