NCBIWA is continually involved on both the State and Federal levels to advocate on behalf of its members to ensure that funding for coastal infrastructure, including beach renourishment and storm damage mitigation, continues without interruption. We continue to inform elected officials and the public through our conferences and meetings on the economic value of our beaches and coastal communities.
During the FY 2020-2021, NCBIWA:
- Worked closely with the USACE SAW and the N.C. DEQ, Division of Water Resources (DWR), in developing a long-term Dredge Material Management Plan (DMMP). On February 3, 2017, the USACE issued Federal Guidance that prohibits non-federal entities from placing navigation dredge spoil in a federally managed dredge material placement facility (DMPF). The Guidance resulted in several NCBIWA members not having sufficient spoil sites for placement of dredged material. NCBIWA quickly took action by contacting elected officials on both the state and federal level in seeking both a short-term and long-term solution. Working with the DWR, NCBIWA was able to lend guidance on a long-term solution by assisting in the structure of a DMMP;
- Submitted a letter to the USACE in support of Carolina Beach for the Recommended Plan as outlined in the draft BRER/EA: Alternative 2: Continuation of Federal participation for Periodic Renourishments, consistent with the currently authorized project using the inlet borrow source for the 15-year period from 2022 to 2036;
- Established the N.C. General Assembly 2019-2020 Coastal Caucus. NCBIWA along with coastal legislators put together a Legislative Coastal Caucus to share information regarding coastal issues;
- Advocated for continual funding of the Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Aquatic Weed Fund to support its members in offsetting some of the cost for dredging projects along the coast;
- Advocated for legislation to fund the Coastal Storm Damage Mitigation Fund. Senate Bill 105/SL 2021-180 provides $40M to the Coastal Storm Damage Mitigation Fund for grants to local governments for coastal storm damage projects. Of those funds, $20 M is allocated to the Town of Oak Island as matching funds for shoreline stabilization and $2M is allocated to the North Carolina Coastal Federation for grants to support living shorelines, oyster reefs and marsh restoration;
- Advocated for a $5 million grant-in-aid to go directly to the Towns of North Topsail Beach, Topsail Beach and Surf City for beach renourishment projects as stated in SL 2019-75;
- Educated and informed attendees through our meetings and conferences with updates from the USACE, NOAA, N.C. Divisions of Coastal Management and Water Resources, N.C. Office of Recovery and Resiliency, N.C. Department of Public Safety as well as presentations for offshore wind and projects along the coast;
- Created a website to keep NCBIWA members informed on the activities of the organization including events, advocacy efforts and legislative updates;
- Partnered with the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association (ASBPA) and the South Carolina Beach Advocates to secure a grant for low-cost tide gauges that NCBIWA member towns and counties can use to monitor flooding events that will tie into the N.C. FIMAN system;
- Continues to support the Offshore Act which will create a revenue sharing model for federal offshore wind revenues to be shared with coastal states;
- Continues to be involved with ASBPA by remaining an active board member and contributing to ASBPA’s governmental affairs agenda and;
- Continues to be involved with the Coastal Resource Commission (CRC) by maintaining a council seat on the Coastal Resources Advisory Council (CRAC).