Staff Report

WILMINGTON – The Corps of Engineers announced Friday it has decided to hold a public hearing and extend the public comment period on its environmental report related to a proposed terminal groin and beach-renourishment project at Rich Inlet on Figure Eight Island.

The Corps’ Wilmington District said the public hearing will be at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 2 at Ogden Elementary School, 3637 Middle Sound Loop Road, Wilmington. The commenting period originally set to end Aug. 24 was extended to Sept. 14.

The Figure Eight Beach Homeowner’s Association seeks to install a terminal groin structure along the southern shoulder of Rich Inlet. The controversial project would also include supplemental beach renourishment on about 4,500 feet of oceanfront beach and 1,400 feet of sound shoreline on Figure Eight Island in New Hanover County.

The supplemental environmental impact statement for the Figure Eight Island Shoreline Management Project was posted July 9.

The proposed project could threaten bird life in the area, which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has designated as “critical habitat” for endangered and threatened bird species. The homeowners association points to a 2012 draft study that cites threats from chronic erosion to property owners at the north of the island if the groin was not built.

Written comments pertaining to the supplemental statement should be sent to Mickey Sugg at the Wilmington Regulatory Field Office, 69 Darlington Ave., Wilmington NC 28403 or by e-mail at by 5 p.m. on Sept. 14. Questions can be directed to Sugg at 910-251-4811.