Waterways Commission reviews a stalled dock project and new Coast Guard info system at June meeting

When the subject is the cost of dredging, “time is money” is an especially apt adage. That explains why members of the Dare County Waterways Commission have, for a year, pushed for the state Department of Transportation to build an additional slip at South Dock to save the $20,500-per-day dredges from commuting back and forth […]

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Worsening conditions challenge Ocracoke ferry operations

Second in a series. Once the quiet and well-behaved counterpart to feral Oregon Inlet, Hatteras Inlet is now repeatedly afflicted by shoaling that defeats routine maintenance of the critically important Ocracoke ferry routes. “It’s ever-evolving,” Catherine “Cat” Peele, planning and development manager for the state Ferry Division, said in a recent interview. She added that bathymetric […]

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Recent shoaling highlights shallow-draft navigation woes

  No matter how incessant the public frustration or how desperate the pleas from mariners to fix clogged harbors, impassable channels or eroded shorelines, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is struggling to address worsening problems in coastal North Carolina, especially on the Outer Banks. Recently, a wicked nor’easter wreaked havoc in Oregon Inlet, choking […]

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Long-delayed Ocracoke passenger ferry gets underway

In a bit of serendipity, the North Carolina Ferry Division celebrated its 75th anniversary Monday morning by christening its modern new vessel, the Ocracoke Express, the first and only passenger ferry in the system. “It’s been a long time coming,” North Carolina Secretary of Transportation Eric Boyette said to a small gathering under the shaded terminal […]

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Monitor expedition set as marine sanctuary system turns 50

This year is the 50th anniversary of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Marine Sanctuary Systems, an occasion that by definition makes the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary extra special because it was the very first one. The problem is that most Americans may be thinking: “What’s a marine sanctuary system?” And even if the […]

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Frustrations mount at Waterways Commission meeting as dredging plans are altered

Even with just a virtual view of the Monday evening meeting of the Dare County Waterways Commission, it was clear from members’ facial expressions that their usual level of frustration at resolving persistent navigational issues in Hatteras Inlet had increased. The entrance to the Connecting Channel, which has recently replaced the South Ferry Channel, is […]

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Public to soon see Hatteras museum’s long-stored artifacts

One day about two years ago, a shoebox wrapped in plastic arrived at the Graveyard of the Atlantic Museum. Inside, there was a manual, written in German and stained orange by diesel fuel. Chillingly, it included maps of the North Carolina coast, marked with the locations of lighthouses. With $4.2 million provided in this year’s […]

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Federal funds set for northeast NC smaller dredge projects

This is the second in a special reporting series on federal infrastructure spending and North Carolina’s navigation needs. Lacking high-volume marine traffic or large ports, North Carolina’s northeast coast typically qualifies for far less federal funding to help maintain navigational channels and inlets than do the state’s southern coastal communities. But mariners in Dare and […]

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