Stakeholder Analysis Regarding Coastal Residents’ Opinions, Perceptions and Knowledge of Terminal Groins in North Carolina

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Terminal groin usage in North Carolina is a contentious issue amongst coastal managers, homeowners, and policymakers. My research shows that this issue consists of a mixture of cultural, political, economic, and historical factors that all impact opinions on whether or not terminal groins should be implemented. A stakeholder analysis was performed asking questions that focused on gauging coastal residents’ knowledge of terminal groins’ function and structure, their potential impacts, and residents were asked which direction they wanted to see North Carolina move, hardening methods or other methods. North Carolina’s historical stance prevented the use of any shoreline hardening devices, such as terminal groins. However, a policy shift in 2011 allowed for four pilot sites along the North Carolina coast. With the potential for terminal groin usage expanding and a potential policy shift in coastal management on the horizon, it is important to find out what coastal residents think about terminal groins. The use of terminal groins has the potential to affect coastal residents in many ways including economically, socially, and environmentally.
A quick synopsis of my conclusions are included here: Coastal residents are more aware of the topic then expected but they are split on their effectiveness, split on whether or not they want to move towards using terminal groins, and have mixed opinions on their impacts. Policymakers are equally split and express frustration regarding how the topic is discussed and perceived. There is no consistent reason for terminal groin usage as that differs by region and the rational for interviewee stances depends on whether or not they view the beach as natural. Areas of agreement amongst both homeowner and policymaker interviewees include the need for site specific usage if terminal groins are used, a need for comprehensive scientific study before they are considered, and the desire to not see them used willy-nilly.





Hitt, Andrea (Dia) (2016). Stakeholder Analysis Regarding Coastal Residents’ Opinions, Perceptions and Knowledge of Terminal Groins in North Carolina. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from

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