Hi, and welcome to my "Editor's Blog"! In this space I'll be attempting to keep our readers informed on fast-breaking news and issues affecting our islands. Visit often. There's a lot going on!

Enjoy the Island Free Press and, even more importantly, enjoy our wonderful barrier island!!!




Latest Comments

Katherine Augusts… (Buxton restoratio…): I saw a program on PBS about a beach project in New Jersey where huge boulders are being shipped in f…
FKAA (We are not alone,…): Ginny, Again, the House is not representative of the popular vote. There were 500,000 more votes for …
bbc (Buxton restoratio…): Ocracoke has a lot to lose if something happens to the road in Buxton. So would/should they be taxed…
diver531 (Buxton restoratio…): Has anyone considered calling or inviting Bob Oakes down to go over what was done in Nags Head . Mayb…
owen (Buxton restoratio…): We sure as hell pay a lot of Taxes, to stay down there for 2 weeks, and no one seems to mind that????…
Ray Midgett (Buxton restoratio…): My position on the merits of beach nourishment are well established, and not pertinent to the comment…


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Buxton restoration timeline: Too ambitious or not ambitious enough?

Thursday 28 August 2014 at 4:48 pm

Property owners in north Buxton have been very vocal since Hurricane Irene two years ago about the desperate need for beach nourishment in the area.

You could hear the pain and frustration in their voices as they asked questions at a public meeting last week to discuss the beach restoration project that is about to get started.

They watch the nourishment about half finished at the S-curves and north Rodanthe and they wonder why those dredges can't just head south and pump some sand onto the Buxton beach while they are at it.

The Buxton folks want nourishment and they want it now, not in 2016, which is the most optimistic estimate for completion by the consulting firm the county has hired to oversee the project.

The northern Hatteras nourishment, a project of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the North Carolina Department of Transportation, is being done to protect Highway 12 in an area that has been very frequently overwashed and closed in storms in recent years.  The road there was breached during Hurricane Irene in 2011 and almost washed away after Hurricane Sandy in 2012.

Gov. Pat McCrory declared a state of emergency for the S-curves area in March of 2013 after yet another storm pounded the area

Carol Dawson, who with her husband Dave owns the Cape Hatteras Motel, the northernmost building in Buxton, posted a comment on the Island Free Press article about the Tuesday public meeting.

"Two more years!" she wrote. "There won't be anything left in Buxton. It has needed beach nourishment for decades not a few years! If the commissioners had pressed our governor to add Buxton to the emergency declaration along with Rodanthe we would be receiving the long needed sand right now!"

Carol Dillon, who owns the Outer Banks Motel, had a stern warning for officials at last week's meeting.

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Under discussion on Monday: Ferry channel in Hatteras Inlet

Friday 22 August 2014 at 7:02 pm

Representatives of the U.S. Coast Guard, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and the North Carolina Department of Transportation will announce Monday that the "alternate" route has become the "official" route for the Hatteras-Ocracoke Ferry.

The Coast Guard made the announcement this morning in a release to the media that billed the event as a "media availability."

The event will be on Monday, Aug. 25, at 1 p.m. at  the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum in Hatteras village.
Rumors about the event have been circulating among folks on Hatteras and Ocracoke for a week or so but reached a fever pitch in the past few days, and especially this morning, as people scrambled to find out what they could about the meeting.

They were getting fairly desperate for information, any information, on whether there was really a meeting, where and when it will be, what the subject of discussion will be.

Now, you may be wondering why there is all of this excitement and angst about the establishment of a ferry channel.

The answer to that question is that how ferries and other boats -- the Hatteras charter and commercial fleets and private vessels-- travel across and through Hatteras Inlet is a huge economic issue.

Historically, the boats have used a route, designated as Rollinson Channel, from Hatteras village to the end of the Hatteras spit.  There, boats could take a turn and go through Hatteras Inlet out into the ocean or continue on to the north Ocracoke ferry docks in a state-maintained channel.

That route meant a quick 40-minute run for the ferries and a quick shot to the inlet for watermen heading out to the ocean for commercial or recreational fishing, both of which are big industries on the islands.

In recent years, Rollinson Channel has become increasingly difficult to keep open because of shifting sands and shoaling along the route.  The shoaling increased after Hurricane Irene in 2011 and Superstorm Sandy in 2012.

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We are not alone, Part II

Friday 15 August 2014 at 3:37 pm

Island Free Press reader Mike Metzgar, a member of the board of directors of the North Carolina Beach Buggy Association, still quite often sends us links to articles in the media about controversies at other parks.

I read them all and find them interesting and informative -- and especially informative in what they tell us about the National Park Service and its relationships with the communities in which parks are located.

What the articles tell us is that we are not alone in our recent disagreements with the Park Service over such issues as regulations, science, and transparency.

A couple years ago, I rounded up a bunch of stories that Mike had e-mailed over the past months in a blog entitled, "We are not alone."

Mike has sent us many stories since that blog but some of those we've received from him this summer have especially caught my attention.

So, here's "We are not alone, Part II." If you want more information, there are links to media coverage at the end of the blog.

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