The beach at the north end of Ocracoke Island, off Ramp 59, shows major erosion in this July photo. Photo: C. Leinbach

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MOREHEAD CITY – The Coastal Resources Commission has rescheduled a public hearing on oceanfront erosion rates for 10 a.m. Oct. 30 in the Hyde County Government Center, 30 Oyster Creek Road, Swan Quarter.

The public hearing will be simultaneously broadcast via telecommunications equipment to the Ocracoke Community Center, 999 Irvin Garrish Highway. The public may speak at either location.

Mike Lopazanski, policy and planning section chief, explained that every five years the commission has to update the erosion rates, which are used to establish construction setbacks for oceanfront development.

He said the erosion rates all along North Carolina beaches range from two to eight feet each year and that the erosion rates in the 2019 report are basically the same as they were five years ago.

The hearing is on the report of these updated erosion rates, even though it has Topsail Beach in its title.

“Even though Hyde County doesn’t have oceanfront development, CAMA requires we do a hearing in every county that has ocean erodable areas of environmental concern,” he said.

The commission is holding hearings on eight counties with oceanfront.

“The areas that are eroding quickly are still eroding,” he said about areas such as the north end of Ocracoke Island.

The commission is accepting comments on proposed amendments to the report, titled 15A NCAC 07H .0304, and the associated fiscal analysis to reflect the five-year update of the state’s oceanfront erosion rates.

The proposed rule amendments can be found at here.

Those unable to attend the public hearing may submit written comments by mail to NCDCM, 400 Commerce Avenue, Morehead City, N.C. 28557.

The hearing was originally scheduled for Oct. 8 in Ocracoke but was rescheduled due to the continued mandatory evacuation and disaster relief from Hurricane Dorian.


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