Impacts of Terminal Groins on North Carolina's Coast
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In 1985, North Carolina banned the use of hard structures along its coastline for the purposes of protecting private property. The policy was heralded as the way to manage barrier islands in the light of sea level rise. In 2011, the General Assembly overturned this ban to allow the construction of up to four terminal groins at inlets where some of the most vulnerable beachfront properties are located. This project examines the potential impacts of terminal groins to North Carolina’s coastline. Biological and physical impacts to the coastal environment were assessed, as well as human and economic impacts to the coastal region. Case studies were conducted to determine the long-term impacts of hard structures in New Jersey and Florida, two states that have traditionally relied on coastal armoring to protect private properties. Results show that faced with rising sea levels, terminal groins are likely to cause more harm than good. Recommendations of the best course of action, including rolling easements, stricter building codes in inlet hazard areas, and a property buy-out program are made to North Carolina in order to help them better protect and manage the coastline.
CitationKnapp, Whitney (2012). Impacts of Terminal Groins on North Carolina's Coast. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/5182.
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Rights for Collection: Nicholas School of the Environment