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Bill Would Create Fund To Buy Oregon Inlet

A picture of the Bonner Bridge over the Oregon Inlet.

A new bill introduced in the North Carolina Senate would allow the state to offer to buy or trade the federal government for the Oregon Inlet.

The Department of Interior took over ownership of the waterway in 1958. It charges the Army Corps of Engineers with dredging there -- being that it's an important access point for commercial fishermen and boat builders.

But state Representative Bill Cook said the feds rarely put up enough money to manage shoaling in the Oregon Inlet.

“The federal government has done a pretty pitiful job of taking care of it. It's supposed to have been dredge to the level of 14 to 20 feet. It has almost never been 20 feet and it has seldom been 14.”

Cook said the state would do a better job of managing the inlet.

His bill would give the state permission to buy or trade the land under and around Oregon Inlet and turn it into a state park. It allocated $15 million to create a new fund that would accrue interest.

Cook says he's confident that, if his bill doesn't pass, a similar measure will make it into the state budget during this short session.

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
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