Local News

Shell Island Residents Achieve Victory

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ATLANTIC BEACH, NC — The Coastal ResourceCommission agreed Friday to allow Shell Island Resort homeowners build anemergency sandbag wall to keep back the approaching Mason Inlet. Many hopethis is the first step toward a permanent solution their problems.

When the resort was build 11 years ago, the Mason Inlet washalf-a-mile away. Now, only 16 feet of sand separate the buildings fromthe water.

Resort attorney Susan McDaniel says something had to be done quickly.

This was the third time homeowners had requested permission to erectthe wall from the commission. It will measure more than 50 feet long and16 feet tall, though most of it will be underground. It will only beallowed to remain for two years.

In spite of that, most property owners are glad to be given this much.Homeowner Dennis Naugle says he knows the decision didn't come easily forthe CRC.

There are other conditions. Homeowners will be required to look at howthe inlet itself reacts to the change. They understand that any time youpush water away from land, odds are it will return just as hard somewhereelse.

Todd Miller of the North Carolina Coastal Federation says that has someenvironmentalists concerned.

Property owners will have to destroy the wall if it creates anyproblems. Still, they say it's their best chance to save protect theirinvestments and get started on fixing the problem. Next, the homeownerswant to dredge the inlet itself in hopes that that will draw it away fromthe building's foundation.

The sandbag wall should be up in about three weeks.

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