Imperiled beach houses a problem fraught with legal perils

Big houses falling into the ocean on the Outer Banks earlier this year had many people wondering why the government didn’t do more to proactively get the houses off the beach before they collapsed, with debris spreading for miles. The changing climate has added urgency to already complex balances between private property rights and public […]

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Murphy introduces bill to study plan for Oregon Inlet jetties

Nearly 20 years ago, the White House Council on Environmental Quality seemed to have finally put its federal sword through the heart of the Oregon Inlet twin-jetty proposal, a project that Congress had approved in 1970 after it had brewed in local committee rooms for at least a decade. But now, as shoaling has continued […]

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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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