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DEQ Issues Ocracoke Bulkhead Permit

MOREHEAD CITY – The state’s coastal regulators have reissued an emergency permit  for the North Carolina Department of Transportation to build a 1,000-foot-long bulkhead at the South Dock Ferry Terminal on the north end of Ocracoke Island.

Construction is expected to begin around July 10 and take about a month to complete.

South Ferry Dock and eroding shoreline at the north end of Ocracoke Island. Photo: NPS

The state Division of Coastal Management issued the emergency permit to address an urgent situation, according to a news release Friday from the Department of Environmental Quality.

The emergency major permit under the Coastal Area Management Act authorizes construction of the bulkhead “to protect against severe shoreline erosion that is a growing threat to the ferry terminal basin and stacking lanes,” according to the announcement. “The ferry terminal at this location is a vital transportation link between Ocracoke and Hatteras islands, and a crucial part of hurricane evacuation routes.”

DEQ Secretary Michael S. Regan first authorized the emergency permit in March, and it was reauthorized June 4 after project design changes.

The bulkhead is the initial phase of a broader, long-range NCDOT plan to address shoreline erosion at the site, for which the National Park Service is accepting public comment.

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Staff Report

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