Channel from Oregon Inlet to Wanchese to be dredged; Hatteras Inlet still clogged

Published 3:21 pm Wednesday, April 6, 2022

Dare County commissioners agreed to sponsor a project to increase the capacity of dredge spoil Island H off Wanchese.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a $6.4 million allocation to dredge the channel between Wanchese and Oregon Inlet. Dare County must provide a disposal area. Currently, Island H has about half the capacity needed to accommodate the dredge material. The berm on Island H needs to be raised about two feet.

Dare’s commissioners passed a resolution to sponsor the Island H work and agreed to apply for a North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Shallow Draft Navigation Fund grant. If awarded, the department will pay two-thirds of the total cost and Dare County will pick up one-third. The project will cost $748,000. Dare’s share will be $249,308.40, which will come from the General Fund’s appropriated fund balance.

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Hatteras Inlet still clogged. The waterway has been impassable for more than two months.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has a dredge operating at the south end of Ocracoke and one in Oregon Inlet. It is unknown when or if one or the other or both of those dredges might be available to help Hatteras Inlet.

An economic impact study of Hatteras Island, presented to the Dare commissioners on March 21, included the economic activities associated with Hatteras Inlet. The report’s author Edward Brent Lane wrote that the combined recreational and commercial fishing impacts were used to estimate the impact of the inlet. The figures are:

  • Economic Output: $42.0 million
  • Employment: 526 jobs
  • Income: $37.3 million
  • Taxes: $2.6 million in state and local taxes

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