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Town awarded $8 million for Sea Turtle Habitat Restoration Project

From today’s press conference: We were notified Friday that we will be getting just over $8 million for the Sea Turtle Habitat Restoration Project. This was a beach nourishment project done in 2000/2001, following Hurricane Floyd in 1999, and it was the first of its kind. This project was beneficial in two ways – it provided more beach for endangered sea turtles to nest, and it also helped part of our beach start to recover following storm damage. This project will cover the same area – East 62nd to East 19th. We won’t see the same volume of sand this time around, but we are so grateful for this important federal and state assistance for our beach as we continue to repair damage done by Hurricane Matthew last October. This announcement comes at a time when we are discussing financing beach nourishment for the entire 9 miles of beach, so hearing that we’ll get federal assistance for part of our beach is very welcome news.

Since the Original Sea Turtle Habitat Restoration Project, we have had a very active turtle program, with employees and volunteers working together to monitor sea turtle nests and report data of sea turtle nest activity on our beach. We look forward to renewing this project which has been such a benefit to sea turtles and other wildlife, as well as visitors and our property owners.

Mayor Brochure thanked some of the staff members who have been working on all of the projects we have going on: Town Manager David Kelly, Assistant Manager and Town Clerk Lisa Stites and Finance Director David Hatten. She also thanked our department heads and all of our staff for all the work they do.

We have been working on a number of other projects as well.

Oak Island Pier – we have received $1.5 million from the Golden leaf Foundation and $300,000 from CAMA to be used toward rebuilding the Pier. We are also hoping to get approximately $760,000 in reimbursement dollars from FEMA. The pier design has been completed and the project is currently out for bid, we have applied for the CAMA construction permit, and we hope to start on this project next month and have it ready for next tourist season.

FEMA Emergency Dune Restoration Project – we have been approved for a $5.6 million FEMA project to do some emergency dune replacement between East 58th and West 51st. We started this project in April, and suspended it temporarily during turtle nesting season. We’ll pick back up in late November and we have received a little more than $1.2 million in reimbursement so far for this project.  To date including all reimbursements the total is $1,607,395.34 that the Town has received from FEMA for the beach so far and for our other storm clean up.

Wilmington Harbor Project – Council has pledged up to $3 million to enhance the Army Corps of Engineers’ dredging project, which will give us beach-quality sand we can place from the eastern Town boundary to possibly as far as East 58th Street.