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Fed Agency Opposes Ocean Isle Groin

Officials of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service expressed their opposition to Ocean Isle’s proposed terminal groin project, which they said would significantly damage the critical habitat of piping plover and adversely affect sea turtles, sea beach amaranth and several estuarine-dependent marine species.

The Fish and Wildlife Service is one of two federal agencies responsible for enforcing the Endangered Species Act and consulting about the effects such a project would have on wildlife. The other agency is the National Marine Fisheries Service.

“A project of this nature will destroy the ecological functioning of this inlet and the surrounding areas,” Peter Benjamin, the field supervisor of the federal agency’s ecological services office in Raleigh, wrote in an email to the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources during the initial scoping for the project. “We oppose this project. There is nothing more to discuss.”

Read the email from the Fish and Wildlife Service here.

The deadline to comment on the draft environmental impact statement of Ocean Isle’s proposed terminal groin project is March 16. Written comments can be sent to Tyler Crumbly (email: Tyler.Crumbley@usace.army.mil; fax: 910-251-4025 or mailed: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Wilmington Regulatory Division, 69 Darlington Ave., Wilmington, NC, 28403. With any comments include the file number for the project: SAW-2011-01241).

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.