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Dare County leaders support Oregon Inlet jetty

Marc Basnight Bridge spans the Oregon Inlet
Madeline Gray
/
For WUNC
The Marc Basnight Bridge spans the Oregon Inlet connecting Bodie Island and Hatteras Island on March 25, 2022. The bridge is a crucial piece of infrastructure for hurricane evacuation.

Shoaling is a big problem in Oregon Inlet. So much sand collects in the waterway that boats can't pass.

Dare County leaders and the congressman for the Outer Banks want a permanent fix.

Rep. Greg Murphy (R-Greenville) has filed a bill in Congress to study the feasibility of building a jetty along the inlet.

"You look at commercial fishing, you look at boat building, you look at recreational fishing. And it is such a large economic input that we have a navigable and safe waterway," he said on Friday, surrounded by Dare County commissioners who support the study.

Murphy says the structure would keep sand from building up, especially after hurricanes or severe weather.

Crews from the Army Corps of Engineers dug up sand earlier this summer, creating a safe channel for vessels traveling between Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean.

Both houses of congress would have to pass Murphy's bill before the study can go forward.

Bradley George is WUNC's AM reporter. A North Carolina native, his public radio career has taken him to Atlanta, Birmingham, Nashville and most recently WUSF in Tampa. While there, he reported on the COVID-19 pandemic and was part of the station's Murrow award winning coverage of the 2020 election. Along the way, he has reported for NPR, Marketplace, The Takeaway, and the BBC World Service. Bradley is a graduate of Guilford College, where he majored in Theatre and German.
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