National Park Service Withdraws Request For Dredge Material on Shackleford Banks
The National Park Service (NPS) recently changed its position related to the draft 20-year Dredge Material Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement (DMMP/DEIS) released late last year. In a letter dated June 11, 2014 to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the National Park Service reversed its previous request for placement of dredge material on the beaches of Shackleford Banks.
Huge victory for Keep Shack Wild and its supporters!
In its decision to abandon beach placement on Shackleford Banks, the NPS cited “significant concern” expressed during the public comment period.
It means the NPS heard your comments.
Thanks to Coalition members who lent their names and reputations to this effort. Thanks to the 350+ citizens who attended the public meeting in January. Thanks to those who submitted 235 written comments opposing the plan. Thanks to the 4,300+ followers on Facebook and Twitter.
And thanks to the National Park Service for listening.
A few issues remain, however.
While the Coalition members are excited about this development, there is still concern on the part of coalition members.
The NPS letter states that it supports nearshore placement off of Shackleford and prefers that this “placement occur in water depths of less than 25 feet.” According to the NPS, nearshore placement “would not impact visitor use and enjoyment.”
The surfing community has expressed concern that nearshore placement could significantly alter the surf conditions.
Mike Orbach, Professor of the Practice of Marine Policy at the Duke Marine Lab, previously stated, “Disposal of dredged material in the proposed area of Shackleford Banks would significantly and negatively affect one of the premier surf spots on the Atlantic Coast -- 'Rough Point'. This spot is famous, especially in hurricane swells, for its surfing. In hurricane swells, people come from up and down the Atlantic Coast to surf, watch the surfing, and for amateur and professional surf photography.”
“So, the proposed disposal off Shackleford will not only not increase recreational amenities of the Cape Lookout National Seashore, it will significantly reduce them!” said Orbach.
We will continue to keep the public informed on this issue through the channels we have established. With this letter, it appears that any additional change in the plan will be in discussions with the Corps. The National Park Service has been part of our community for decades and we appreciate that they are listening and responding in a positive way.