Welcome to the Brunswick Environmental Action Team

(BEAT) Homepage and Current Information Update Site

BEAT is sharing a link to this website: "Guide to Marine Plastic Pollution" per a request from a friend, Mikayla Saunderson, to help her illustrate to her young peers the importance of being a good Digital Citizen and reaching out to others to give compliments especially in this digital age where people are content to say mean things anonymously. BEAT also hopes visitors to this linked site find the information and numerous links provided there useful.

People who attended the informative AND free online meeting on April 29, 2021 heard directly from Emily Donovan as she discussed: An Action Update on PFAS (Forever Chemicals) in Our Drinking Water. 

Emily Donovan was the featured speaker at this meeting. Emily co-founded an organization named: "Clean Cape Fear." Many consider her to be an important community leader in the fight for clean drinking water. Emily's awareness of environmental issues is wide and deep. We believe everyone who attended learned a great deal.

BEAT recorded Ms. Donovan's live presentation (almost an hour long). It is available for viewing, at your convenience. Please note the link and password to view Emily's presentation are given below. This "ZOOM-Link" will take you to a new page where you will be asked to enter the passcode given below in order to view Ms. Donovan's talk.

BEAT Meeting Video Link: 

https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/4jdXeLUE4k3kbIrb1EMlpQLVnT_HuZ9v5gI-L3fq7CNNKTRdVRsGaDt521zmwB-x.fxzXV6sRwm4a0beu 

BEAT Meeting Video Passcode: 5ANB+aDk

As a lead-in to the April 29, 2021 BEAT meeting, featuring the presentation by Emily Donovan (see video link above), BEAT shared this recent and timely message from Mark Ruffalo. It is our understanding that this message was distributed by Consumer Reports (please see the by-line below} and is titled: "Mark Ruffalo Has a Message for You." According to Meg Bohne of Consumer Reports:

We’ve got HUGE momentum in the fight to get ‘forever chemicals’ out of our drinking water. Already, nearly 50,000 people have signed our petition to the Biden Administration to set strict limits on PFAS chemicals in our water. Last week, a bill requiring the EPA to clean up groundwater sites contaminated with these hazardous chemicals -- and to finally regulate them -- was introduced in Congress.

Now, our favorite superhero is using his powers to fight against PFAS. Can you help by signing our petition to get PFAS out of our water?

Actor and activist Mark Ruffalo (aka the Hulk) wants you to sign, too! Hear Mark Ruffalo express his concerns about this topic in the FaceBook video linked here. 

    www.facebook.com/watch/?v=894344018085375

Despite mounting evidence of potential health risks from PFAS — including cancer, learning delays in children, and interference with vaccine efficacy  — federal regulators have failed to set an enforceable limit for these chemicals in our drinking water. That means your tap water could be contaminated with PFAS and you likely won’t even know it.

Help us get safer water by signing our petition and sharing it with everyone you know. It’s an easy, meaningful way to celebrate Earth Day and to make a real difference for our environment.

Thank you,

Meg Bohne
Consumer Reports

 

CAN WE CONTROL MOTHER NATURE?

The ongoing dredging controversy at Jinks Creek in Sunset Beach, now after 5 years, over $600,000 and rejected permit applications, brings to mind man’s constant attempt to bend Mother Nature’s plan to his wishes.  Mother Nature has been managing the planet for billions of years!  Unfortunately, in the past two centuries man has attempted to control Mother Nature with dire consequences.   Let’s look at two examples that impact coastal North Carolina.

 

  1. Along the East Coast navigational channels were created by dredging and the spoils were used to fill in low lying areas and wetlands.  Low lying areas are flood prone. Wetlands protect the barrier islands from flooding and erosion from storm surges.  Over the past few years we have witnessed the impact of severe hurricanes and storms on flooding and erosion from New York City, to North Carolina, to Charleston, to New Orleans to Houston!  Our attempt to control Mother Nature by dredging has increased the risk of flooding and erosion!  

 

  1. Along the East Coast jetties have been created “to protect beaches from erosion”.  Sand is naturally removed from beaches by wave action.  It is carried by longshore transport which runs parallel to the beach.  This sand is eventually redeposited on beaches farther south or west.  Jetties benefit the beaches behind the jetties by blocking the sand moving in the longshore transport.  But jetties also create a serious problem for beaches on the other side of the jetties. These beaches don’t get the sand from the longshore transport system that is needed to stabilize them from erosion.  The Little River Jetty between North and South Carolina illustrates how jetties function.  On the North Carolina side the beach (Bird Island) is accreting.  On the South Carolina side the beach is eroding. The construction of just one jetty triggers a chain-reaction to create a series of new jetties as seen on the Jersey North Shore.  If one jetty is constructed on Ocean Isle Beach, it will be only be a matter of time before jetties appear off Sunset Beach.  Our attempt to Control Mother Nature by creating jetties has increased beach erosion and there will be an expensive need to re-nourish every few years!

 

This brings us back to the current Sunset Beach proposal to dredge South Jinks Creek.  There is already a serious flooding and erosion problem in the Palm Cove area of Sunset Beach where South Jinks Creek joins Tubbs Inlet.  An artificial dike was created to protect Palm Cove.  Hurricane Matthew destroyed the dike.  Sandbags have replaced the dike.

 

There are dire consequences, requiring constant remediation, in store for messing with Mother Nature’s plan by dredging any part of Jinks Creek.  Remember that Tubbs Inlet was substantially relocated to the East by dredging to create more housing lots on the East end of Sunset Beach.  What we are seeing today is Mother Nature’s steady effort to restore tidal prism equilibrium.  She works in geological time and will relentlessly continue her work.

Jinks Creek makes a sharp ninety degree left turn to enter Tubbs Inlet.  If, as the permit application calls for,  a “navigational”1 channel in South Jinks Creek, a lot of the surging water attempting to get back to the ocean after storms will not be able to make the ninety degree turn instead washing onto Sunset Beach triggering flooding and more erosion. 

 

North Jinks Creek was removed from the original dredging proposal due to the high density of oyster beds in the creek.  The proposed “navigational” channel in South Jinks will increase the amount of sediment deposited in North Jinks Creek- eventually making it more difficult for boats to navigate North Jinks Creek at low tide.  Will it too then be dredged?  What will be the next series of consequences?  A further increase in the risk of flooding and erosion on the East end of the island? An impact on the oyster beds in the creek?  An impact on the primary nursery areas, and the tidal marshes, that surround and bisect North Jinks Creek?  Will attempting to control Mother Nature by dredging South Jinks Creek trigger additional dire consequences?

 

If we want to protect what natural environment we have left in North Carolina, citizens need to join forces with environmental organizations such as the Southern Environmental Law Center, North Carolina Coastal Federation and Brunswick Environmental Action Team and stop the attempts to control Mother Nature.  Will you participate?

 

  1. The term “navigation” in this document refers to language used in the permit statutes.  Jinks Creek is a naturally occurring shallow water tidal creek that has never been dredged before, has no channel markers, and is only used for recreational kayaking, canoeing and fishing.  Today recreational fishing boats can transcend both South and North Jinks Creek at low tide by using the deeper channels close to shore.  Jinks Creek should  not be “navigated” by deep water, deep draft, or off-shore vessels or yachts and has never been used for access to the Atlantic Ocean.  These types of boats can use the Sunset Beach Boat Ramp on the Intracoastal Waterway.

DEAR BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC CITIZENS - PLEASE CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING OPPORTUNITY (per flyer)

From: Christine Amrhine <ca@g-etg.com>
Date: Wed, Nov 25, 2020 at 5:36 PM
Subject: SAVE THE DATE: Tues. Dec. 15 for Virtual Community Update Meeting about Navassa Kerr-McGee Superfund Site
To: Christine Amrhine <ca@g-etg.com>

Dear Navassa residents and other stakeholders, 

  

You are invited to virtual Community Update Meeting sessions about the Kerr-McGee Chemical Corp – Navassa Superfund Site scheduled for Tuesday, December 15. 

 

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ), and the Multistate Environmental Response Trust (the Multistate Trust) are hosting two virtual meeting sessions to update the public on the progress of remediation plans and field activities at the Site. 

 

Sessions will be held 12:00 noon–1:30 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.–8:00 p.m. The public can join by phone or online. 

 

Please see the flyer linked here and attached for more information about how to join the December 15 meeting sessions. 

12:00 noon – 1:30 p.m. session

 

 

6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. session

Type this link into a browser window: https://tinyurl.com/navassa630

 

Thanks,

 

Christine Amrhine - Director of Communications and Editorial Services Greenfield Environmental Multistate Trust LLC,
                                 Trustee of the Multistate Environmental Response Trust, Montana Environmental Trust Group LLC,
                                 Trustee of the Montana Environmental Custodial Trust, Greenfield Environmental Trust Group, Inc., Member

     (540) 846-3163 (mobile)

     ca@g-etg.com
     greenfieldenvironmental.com

Decomposing hog waste cannot be  the future of clean energy here in North Carolina.

                                                                                         The N.C. Division of Air Quality (DAQ) is considering a permit to allow                                                                                                    Align (Dominion Energy and Smithfield Foods) to build a biogas pipeline.                                                                                              through Duplin and Sampson counties, areas of our state that already                                                                                                 face environmental injustice.

                                                                                         The pipeline would carry methane collected from open pits of                                                                                                               decomposing hog feces and urine to facilities for processing so that it                                                                                                 can be burned for energy. This would result in increased sulfur dioxide                                                                                               emissions that increase fine particle pollution, harming air quality.

                                                                                          Please use our form to contact DAQ now and tell regulators that we                                                                                                    don’t need another pipeline that would increase air pollution - and we                                                                                                  don’t need to prop up the outdated system of open hog waste pits.

Collecting methane from open cesspools or "lagoon-and-sprayfield" systems perpetuates a foul system of waste management that should have been discontinued years ago. 

These systems  are responsible for millions of gallons of hog waste spilling into our waterways each year and air quality problems for people who live nearby. Also, methane is a greenhouse gas and burning it will only make our climate situation worse.

Make your voice heard! Contact DAQ today and tell them to deny this dirty energy permit.

Thanks for all you do!

Erin Carey
Coastal Programs Director | NC Sierra Club

 

 

BEAT would like to request citizens of Brunswick County, NC become familiar with updates to the Jinks Creek dredging issue that we have been following in recent years.

 

This update comes via a letter from Richard Hilderman of Sunset Beach - from the Brunswick Beacon OPINION / Letters to the Editor pages (October 8, 2020). The Brunswick Beacon entitled the letter "Activists vs. malcontents." In his letter to the editor, Mr. Hilderman states:

 

"True activists have facts and data to support their involvement to achieve goals."

 

In his letter, he then asks us to decide if we believe the current Sunset Beach (Jinks Creek) dredge appeal process is an example of activism or malcontent. Mr. Hilderman's summary of the dredging approval process as it has proceeded so far seems factual to us. Here is the description from his letter:

 

"... Sunset Beach town council charged the Environmental Resource Committee (ERC) to do the necessary research regarding the dredging project and make a recommendation to the council. The ERC did the research, consulted six academic scientists, presented the results to council and recommended they share the results with the scoping committee.

 

The council voted not to even accept the report. The ERC sent the report, on its own, to the scoping committee. One of the ERC concerns a high density of oyster beds in North Jinks Creek (NJC) and that the removal of these beds would impact the ecosystems of NJC and the surrounding primary nursery areas (PNA's). The scoping committee agreed and NJC was removed from the dredging project.

 

Scientists and concerned citizens, citing references and models, expressed their concerns to council that dredging South Jinks Creek would potentially increase the risk of flooding, erosion and ultimately have a negative impact on the ecosystems of NJC and the PNA's. Those concerns were never adequately addressed by the council.

After the town submitted its application to the Army Corps of Engineers, scientists and citizens

expressed their concerns during the comment period. The Corps apparently agreed with some

of these concerns. After consulting with the Corps the town withdrew the application and a 

resubmitted application is now pending."

BEAT would like to believe that the newly pending dredging application reflects the

environmental awareness described in Mr. Hilderman's letter. As we learn more about the

content of the latest Jinks Creek dredging appeal on Sunset Beach we will share this with 

you here. We are also always grateful to hear of your own fact-based concerns in the days to

come as public comment opportunities draw near. 

The article about the Jinks Creek dredging project containing the image to the right

(from GOOGLE Maps) - in the link below was posted February 20, 2020.

The article is a good read. 

https://dredgewire.com/article/11788

On Thursday, October 22, 2020 from 10:00am – 12:30pm (EST), join the North Carolina Coastal Federation and partners to learn about ongoing research to test for and understand the effects of  PFAS chemicals in our drinking water and environment.

This virtual public forum will allow researchers from the PFAS Testing Network  to present findings from a two-year study on the environmental and health effects of per- and poly - fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) and the extent to which these compounds have infiltrated North Carolina’s waterways.

A collaboration of researchers from universities across the state, the PFAS Testing Network, puts some of the nation’s leading scientists on this issue  to work on critical research needs surrounding this environmental and health crisis. These results will help to inform the public, regulatory agencies and policymakers involved in this serious issue.

Reserve your spot for this free, online forum using the link below to hear key research findings from:

 

The North Carolina Coastal Federation organizes coast wide educational forums to provide unbiased, credible scientific information to our coastal residents and leaders. Sound scientific research is a critical step in informing policy, regulatory decisions and citizen actions to better protect our waters and natural coast. Please consider supporting our coastal protection efforts at nccoast.org/give.

To learn more about the federation’s work on emerging contaminants, sign up for email alerts, or view a recording of last year’s forum, please visit: nccoast.org/genx

Registration for the public forum described above

Register HERE - to learn about ongoing research to test for and understand the effects of  PFAS chemicals in our drinking water and environment.

Oct.22.Event.png

 

PFAS TESTING SEMINAR SERIES BEGINS SEPT. 18

 

https://www.coastalreview.org/2020/09/pfas-testing-seminar-series-begins-sept-18/

Knappe-Group_Haw-River-field-sampling-05

BEAT is deeply disappointed that the U.S. Federal government has let the clear and present evidence of mis-direction and criminal negligence, by both DuPont and Chemours, go unaccounted for.

Private individuals in this country dare not expect to be treated with equally entitlement-granting kid gloves as these "Too Big Too Fail" corporate polluters and stockholders do.

Chemours, knowingly and forever, tainted the water supply of the southeastern portion of North Carolina. And generations to come will continue to suffer from their intentional negligence!

BEAT now also feels the federal government is complicit in these acts by allowing such criminally aggressive polluters off-the-hook despite a clear trail of malfeasance and deception.

North Carolina's citizens deserve better. We should be able to depend on our government for protection from corporations that harm the right of citizens to enjoy precious natural clean air, water and soil (our common heritage). Instead, they have set a dubious precedent for other like-minded profiteers to follow; make billions of dollars in profits over the years while poisoning our waters. "Why worry?" they may ask in their board meetings, "there will be no accountability for criminal corporate pollution of the water supply for millions of North Carolinians."

Warm Regards, Pete Key

For August 2020, BEAT is happy to share a message/request from Randy Sturgill,

             Senior Campaign Organizer - Oceana l Protecting the World’s Oceans
Southeast U.S. (Wilmington, NC): T 910.713.8251 | E  rsturgill@oceana.org . www.oceana.org

I hope this email finds you well.

 

We are about to kick off a series of Plastic Pollution workshops. This issue is

growing in importance and you or other members of your network may want

to reserve a virtual seat.

 

The series is free but we have limited capacity so reach out if you would like to be

considered for a space in this August/September course.  

 

This will be a great way to network with other like-minded advocates who are

working to reduce single use plastic pollution across the US while learning from

experts.  The series will feature talks by policy makers, scientists, and activists.

National and local experts will join us for each session.  

 

As this issue grows in importance to many communities; I hope you will become engaged in your own city's response to plastic pollution.  Apply for THE COURSE here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/19VAOAWrOROeBhStkqa-OJDSURfK949hNUeCq0_zQv_Q/edit?usp=sharing . Information about this course is also given in the calendar at the top of this web page.

 

This course will be offered starting on Saturday August 29th with the final graduate day of Saturday, September 19th. Classes are on Saturday mornings, at 10 am and end on or before 12 noon. Capacity is limited so apply ASAP. If you are not selected for the August/September 2020 class, we can wait list you for the next scheduled course.

 

Also, please forward the invite on to anyone you think would be a good candidate!! 

 

I look forward to working with you on this very important issue. 

——————————————————————————————————————————————————

 

Randy also attached the contact information for Paulita Bennett-Martin from Oceana.  She is a manager of this workshop and would be able to answer more detailed questions.  Feel free to contact her.  Keep in mind this is set up for beginners in this battle.

Paulita Bennett-Martin | Field Representative, Georgia Campaigns

 

DC: 1025 Connecticut Ave Washington Ave. NW, Suite 200 Washington, DC 20036 D.C. 

GA: 428 Bull Street Savannah, GA 31401

Savannah | Georgia T +1.912.809.0097 | E pbennett-martin@oceana.org | W www.oceana.org

The entire membership of Brunswick Environmental Action Team (BEAT) remains resolute with the more than 100 communities and organizations along the North Carolina coast that have said "NO!" to offshore drilling and seismic testing. We suspected, from the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic that the administration, in Washington, would take underhanded advantage of the "distraction," to pull down environmental protections. They have proven us correct in our appraisal of their character. BEAT will continue to fight alongside, our sister and brother organizations and municipalities against any organization that seeks to undermine environmental bouindaries that protect our water, air and soil for future generations. This is far from over.

Sent: 6/15/2020 4:21:47 PM

Subject: RELEASE: DEQ Secretary statement on WesternGeco seismic testing decision

 

                               Roy Cooper, Governor                       Michael S. Regan, Secretary

 

Release: IMMEDIATEContact: Sharon Martin

Date: June 15, 2020Phone: (919) 707-8670

 

DEQ Secretary statement on WesternGeco seismic testing decision

 

RALEIGH – The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is disappointed to learn of U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s decision to override North Carolina's Coastal Zone Management Act (CZMA) Consistency Objection to WesternGeco’s proposal to conduct Geological and Geophysical (Seismic) surveys off the North Carolina coast. The effect of this decision is that the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management’s (DCM) consistency objection no longer prohibits the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) from issuing a permit to WesternGeco. Numerous studies, including several new studies completed in the last few years, indicate the proposed seismic testing poses an unacceptable threat to North Carolina’s marine life and its coastal recreational and commercial fisheries. 

 

“This proposed seismic testing for oil and gas exploration has no place off our coast,” said DEQ Secretary Michal S. Regan.  “Our coastal resources are too precious to risk from these proposed activities. We stand with all of the coastal communities who have made their opposition to the proposed seismic testing and offshore oil and gas clear.”

 

Local leaders have met with state officials and signed a resolution to oppose seismic testing and the offshore drilling that would follow.  https://deq.nc.gov/news/press-releases/2019/05/16/bipartisan-coastal-leadership-signs-resolution-opposing-drilling-oil

 

North Carolina can appeal Secretary Ross’ decision to the federal courts and the state is reviewing the next steps. 

 

Documents can be found on the DCM website at: https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/coastal-management/coastal-management-permits/federal-consistency/national-oil-and#seismic-surveys

After reviewing the actual permits, BEAT would like to revise it's statement of concern for CPI USA. 

 

BEAT was originally pleased with the outcome of the NCDPES Permit results based on the March 30th statement from Lauren Garcia, an Environmental Specialist at the NCDEQ, in which she stated, "In response to public input, the final NPDES wastewater permit excludes the discharge of bottom ash transport water in the outfall and increases the monitoring frequency for multiple compounds. The final NPDES stormwater permit incorporates additional monitoring requirements and the development of a hurricane preparedness plan, among other updates.”

Now that BEAT has had time to review the permit in detail, it comes to light that, the wastewater permit does NOT require CPI to stop discharging the “wash water” it uses to wash out its “drag-chain pit,” which is where it collects bottom ash for removal off-site. That water then goes into two settling basins, from there (without any other treatment than settling) into the BSEP canal and into the ocean.

 

The new permit states that technically this is not bottom-ash transport water, as the draft had said, meaning discharge is not absolutely prohibited by federal law.  In short, this "relatively small" annual discharge will continue, including whatever contaminants the wash water picks up from ash residue in the drag-chain pit that do not settle out in the settling basins. This wash water, flushing into the ocean less than a quarter mile off of Caswell Beach, with no treatment process,  was the initial and primary cause for concern for BEAT and county municipalities.

 

Essentially, the state has changed the name of the discharged water from: "bottom ash transport water" to: "wash water." The primary process has not changed at all, only the what they call it. Our minimal request, that CPI USA contain the approximately two tanker truck loads of wash-water and dispose of it in a proper facility was not approved. Instead there will essentially be two tanker truck loads of bottom ash water dumped into the oceanfront of Caswell Beach at least annually, with no notice to residents. We find these results unacceptable and hope that the Brunswick County Towns of Caswell Beach, Oak Island and Southport will join with BEAT in this assertion.

Warmest Regards,

Pete Key

President, Brunswick Environmental Action Team (BEAT)

Dear Concerned Citizens of Brunswick County, NC

Please send comments on Chenmours' groundwater plan to the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) at:

publiccomments@ncdenr.gov

 before March 6, 2020.

DEQ needs to know that the public is paying attention. Here are four ideas to consider including in your letter of personal comments to DEQ about the current Chemours' plan.

1. Chemours has polluted 45,000 acres of local  groundwater with toxic chemicals and poisoned public water supplies for decades, yet now Chemours proposes to avoid paying what is needed to protect people and our communities.

2. Chemours' plan leaves highly contaminated groundwater at the site and does little to stop toxic pollutants from from leaking into people's wells AND local rivers & streams.

3. DEQ must ensure that families, county citizens and downstream communities do not bear any financial burden in paying all costs associated with cleaning up all toxic pollutant emissions. AND that Chemours does pay directly for all cleanup costs.

4. Also, please let DEQ know that Chemours (and stockholders) must commit to placing the health of North Carolinians living near the facililty, the Cape Fear River, and in downstream communities - before it's bottom line - which their proposed plan fails to do!

Here are a few images to provide information about the October 22nd 2019 BEAT meeting presentation by Cape Fear Riverkeeper Kemp Burdette. One idea among many that were discussed is that all citizens be aware of the simple opportunities that exist to help keep our waters untainted by a wide range of medications and drugs. By using information posted below (to the right) everyone can understand simple actions they can take to prevent disposal of ANY pharmaceutical by flushing it into a wastewater drain or toilet. Everyone was encouraged to dispose of EVERY unused (and expired) drug by turning in such medications and/or pharmaceuticals at a local and SAFE disposal sites as explained in the link posted here. http://www.brunswicksheriff.com/resources/medication-disposal

RiverWatch Mission_edited.png
Kemp B..jpg
Dwight_edited.png

Top Left: River Watch Mission statement; Above: Dwight Willis extolling accomplishments of BEAT and introducing riverkeeper Mr. Kemp Burdette; Top Right: Mr. Burdette during the presentation; Also shown North Carolina Bald Cypress Slide and two Concluding Comments slides from Mr. Burdette's presentation.

 

Brunswick Environmental Action Team - Meeting for BEAT Members and General Public

 

 October 22, 2019

6:30 pm - 6:45 pm

Welcome and Introduction – BEAT President Pete Key

Review BEAT Accomplishments – Dr. Dwight Willis

What is in our Future – Jennifer Swift

Report on the Treasury – Pete Key

6:45 pm - 7:50 pm

          Guest Speaker - Kemp Burdette, Cape Fear Riverkeeper

          Closing Thoughts from Kemp Burdette’s BEAT Presentation - September 2019

  • Economic Development AND Environmental Protection are mutually interdependent; NOT mutually exclusive.

  • Industries that do not accurately account for their own waste management force me and you to pay for their waste treatment out of our own pockets. This is irresponsible, unethical AND illegal.

  • The public needs to more actively support application precautionary principles of risk assessment AND management.

  • Environmental regulatory agencies need to be openly empowered and encouraged to do their jobs.

  • The practice of environmental injustice is cunningly real, common, AND wrong.

  • Corporate influence on environmental policy in the NC General Assembly is often undue; AND also generally bad for North Carolina’s environment.

  • In many cases, efforts of private agencies and interests at state & federal levels to support policies that maximize their own short term profit at the expense of environmental sustainability are commonly more well-organized than public regulatory agencies that work to support long-term environmental protections. Strong local protections are critical factors in promoting long-term environmental sustainability.

7:50 pm - 8:00 pm

Suggestions for 2020

8:00 pm

Adjournment

Sunset Beach NCDEQ Public Comments - RE: Dredging of Jinks Creek - Deadline October 24, 2019

 

https://dredgewire.com/article/11788

Concerned Citizens:
 
As you are aware, after reviewing the SSB dredging application, the US Army Corps of Engineers determined it was necessary to have an independent federal review of the permit application.  Like the State review, the federal review requires a public comment period.  The federal public comment period was activated on 9/24/19 and continues until 5pm, 10/24/19.  If you have concerns about the dredging project submit your concerns to:
              
Mr. Tyler Crumbley
                Wilmington Regulatory Field Office       
                69 Darlington Ave
                Wilmington, NC 28403
                Phone: 910-251-4170
                Email:  Tyler.A.Crumbley@usace.army.mil
 
The attached public notice document outlines the Corps review of the application.  It is important to note that if the Corps doesn’t receive public comments, they will assume the general public is comfortable with all aspects of the dredging project.  I cannot emphasize enough the need in the next week to send a massive amount of email letters to Tyler Crumbly. VOLUME OF MAIL IS CRITICAL to Army Corps of Engineers request for public comment. They will interpret lack of volume as “there is no real problem”.
 
You may also use the following addresses:
1. Braxton.davis@ncdenr.gov
2. courteny.spears@ncdenr.gov
3. tanya.Pietila@ncdenr.gov
4. tara.MacPherson@ncdenr.gov

More information can be found at:  https://www.sunsetbeachnc.gov/vertical/sites/%7BA2C1D077-15B6-49E5-B8FD-53D65FA0DC5D%7D/uploads/Sunset_Beach_Navigation_Project_Update_and_Presentation_-_05-21-19_Revised.pdf

Warmest Regards,

Pete Key

President – Brunswick Environmental Action Team

 

Sample Letter

Mr. Crumbley:


As a resident of Brunswick County, and a citizen concerned about the health and welfare of our coastal barrier islands, and their ecosystems, that protect us from the full force of coastal storms, I am writing you to address the following concerns with the proposed dredging project in Jinks Creek near Sunset Beach.

  • Dredging a 1700 foot, 80-foot-wide and 5 feet MLW (Mean Low Water) channel in South Jinks Creek will increase the sediment load in North Jinks which will have a negative impact not only on the oysters but also the ecosystems of both North Jinks Creek and the surrounding PNAs (Primary Nursery Area).

  • Using computer modeling Moffatt and Nichol stated the navigational channel in Jinks Creek would not increase the risk of flooding and erosion on the east end of the island after storms when the surging water attempts to get back to the ocean.  Three independent coastal scientists using the same computer model, but additional input data suggests the navigational channel will increase this risk of flooding and erosion.  The continuing sea level rise, due to climate change, will most likely increase this risk even more!  For the sake of east property owners shouldn’t this risk be clarified prior to performing any dredging of South Jinks Creek?

  • The spoils from dredging South Jinks Creek will be placed on the ocean between 5th and 12th Street of SSB.  The proposed placement would enhance the existing berm width of 275 ft with a maximum height of +9.0 MLW.  To my knowledge the SSB beaches are actually accreting not eroding. Will the spoils alter the landscape to have a negative impact on the beach’s ecosystem?

  • North Jinks Creek is 2 feet MLW.  To access the ocean, Canal Bay boaters use South Jinks, North Jinks, ICW and then the Little River Inlet.  Feeder/finger canal boaters ONLY use North Jinks Creek to access the ICW.  It isn’t necessary to dredge South Jinks Creek to 5 feet MLW when North Jinks Creek is only 2 feet MLW.

  • Since the tide in Jinks Creek is 4 to 6 feet, the only time Canal Bay boaters will have a problem navigating the 1700-foot area of South Jinks Creek is around low tide.  Canal Bay boaters can simply navigate South Jinks Creek around the tides?  Especially when one considers the potential negative impact the navigational channel will have of the ecosystems of Jinks Creek/PNAs, flooding and erosion on the east end of the island and the impact of placing the spoils between 5th and 12th Street.

  • I’m especially concerned about the massive chunk (40,500 cubic yards) that will be removed from the prism (flood tide delta) that spans the Bay Area opening.  Jinks Creek is going to be turned into something it never was, and is unintended by natural forces to be. It will be robbed of its ability to hold back a massive daily flood of tidal waters in and out of the channel. Not to mention the protection offered from storms like Florence or Matthew pushing a storm surge into the area.  At the project-intended depths and widths using, and I quote Robert Neal from the commissioners meeting “we used a 35 foot Grady White as an average for our calculations”- a 35 foot Grady White is a deep water, ocean going, fishing vessel which can also be configured as a pleasure yacht. The few people that are pushing for this project purchased these vessels knowing that they would need to access the public boat launch or seek a rented berth to store and use them. Now they are seeking to alter, pristine and protected PNA’s for their pleasure and ease of use.

 

I am asking that the NCDEQ put a stop to this unnecessary project and protect these valuable primary nursery areas.
Sincerely,

(Your name and address)
 

Brunswick County Recyclabes - 2019_edite

Does it seem like every environmental law we have is being erased?

Read about "67 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Since 2016"

Mean Low Water Jurisdictional Boundariie
Seismic Photo 1 from South Carolina Aqua
Seismic Photo 4 from South Carolina Aqua
Seismic Photo 3 from South Carolina Aqua
Seismic Photo 2 from South Carolina Aqua

Messages in these 4 images are from information about Seismic Testing from the South Carolina Aquarium's Web Posts

What is your Brunswick County, NC Town's Position on Seismic Testing for Offshore Oil?

According to a report at the June 2019 BEAT board meeting information in the following list represents the present policy position of each Brunswick County township or community related to Seismic Blasting and Offshore Drilling.

Brunswick County towns WITH resolutions opposing offshore drilling include:

1.    Bald Head Island
2.    Belville
3.    Calabash
4.    Carolina Shores 
5.    Caswell Beach
6.    Holden Beach
7.    Leland
8.    Oak Island 
9.    Ocean Isle Beach
10.    Southport
11.    Sunset Beach          
12.   St. James
13.   Shallotte

 
Brunswick County towns that have taken NO POSITION on policies or resolutions related Seismic Blasting and Offshore Drilling include:

1.    Boiling Spring Lakes
2.   Bolivia
3.   Navassa
4.   Northwest
5.   Sandy Creek
6.   Varnamtown

 

ONE LAST CHANCE ! 

​​​21 Day Public Comment Period ENDS JULY 17th!​

 

BEAT Action can decisively help a Brunswick County Town, Sunset Beach, preserve one of the best examples of an estuarine tidal marsh ecosystem on the NC coast.

 

the town of sunset beach recently resubmitted a CAMA dredging permit that includes dredging South Jinks Creek.

 

dredging South Jinks creek near the ocean raises a number of concerns addressed by coastal scientists and experts, not the least of which is that North Jinks creek bisects a Primary wildlife Nursery Area marsh ecosystem and will be directly degraded by the dredging. because of this degradation, BEAT is in opposition to the sunset beach request to conduct Maintenance dredging in this particular area of the jinks creek waterway.

 

other waterways between North and South Jinks creek known as the canal bay area and the feeder and finger canal system have all  been maintenance dredged in the past. BEAT is not in opposition to the Maintenance dredging these waterways.

 

Many of you are aware that the original massive dredging proposal has been questioned now for almost three years.  CAMA is now acting on the resubmitted permit.  Part of the process allows for just a 21 day public comment period. It is from June 26 through July 17th. The CAMA protocol creates a comment document file and sends it to the Department of Coastal Management, who then sends the file to the appropriate state agencies for review.  Reviewing agencies can access this file at any time.

 

We have been given 21 days to send comments for inclusion in this file.  please act now to ensure that your voice is heard.  Your comments should be based on facts and data, not emotion and opinion.  This is important.  The facts and data favor the environment.  They support the hard work so many of us have done to earn the respect of the DCM permit agencies.

 

In the permit protocol there are 5 categories for denial; we believe No.3 and No.5 apply.

3. significant adverse effect on public health, safety, and welfare.

5. significant adverse effect on wildlife or fresh water, estuarine or marine fisheries.

Please keep these two categories in mind when you write your comments.

 

information in the following paragraphs may provide you with ideas you may wish to use as talking point guidelines for your own written response (due by July 17, 2019). however while considering ideas provided below, please use your own words; and describe your own experiences and focused concerns.

Dredging South Jinks Creek (part A).

This portion of the creek near Tubbs Inlet has not been dredged in the 50 years since it was relocated. To do so now, at the proposed depth and width, raises concerns:  How will the change in velocity and volume of water, especially during storm surges, effect the tidal marsh estuary system?  Storms such as Mathew and Florence took out the man-made dike at Palm Cove.  Shouldn’t future storms and erosion be considered based on the width and depth of the dredge profile? This concern goes to public health, safety, and welfare.  Both storms put Riverside Drive underwater as do wind and high tide considerations.

 

Dredging South Jinks Creek (part B).

The dredge profile submitted by the contractor Moffat & Nichol shows that they will be altering a substantial portion of the massive Flood Tide Delta which for all these years has served as a metering device- an important role- especially during storm surges. M&N, using a computer model, stated in the public forum that there would be no specific change.  But scientists and coastal experts using the same model but, with additional input, came up with different conclusions and concerns.  The potential for damage to life and property and the estuary marsh ecosystem should be considered.

 

The Tidal Marsh Ecosystem.

There is a major concern that dredging will change the water and sediment volume and flow, the homeostasis of a balanced system, in North Jinks creek where it bisects, close at hand, Primary Nursery Area.  Well documented are the concerns of disturbing to a depth of 6 feet below MLW,  a bottom with contaminates and the ensuing sedimentation issues.  North Jinks Creek has never been dredged, but it now stands to be affected by a different flow and volume rate caused by altering the flood tide delta to dredge South Jinks creek.  Without further study, do we really want to mess with the plumbing?  What about the potential for damage to this unique and fragile estuary, its oyster population and filtering function, and all the marine life that gets it start here ?  All this goes to public welfare and most of all to wildlife and freshwater estuarine or marine fisheries.

 

Setting A Precedent 

Without further study and analysis surrounding the issues, facts, and data submitted by experts and scientists, but not deliberated in the public forum, to go ahead and permit the dredging of South Jinks Creek , is to mess with: 1. Tubbs Inlet, 2. the massive flood tide delta that nature is restoring after Tubbs was relocated some 50 years ago, and 3.  the welfare of Palm Cove.  And further to the North, 4.  the part of Jinks Creek that has never been dredged before and bisects a PNA.

Deep draft

Moffat & Nichol used a “ 35 foot Grady White as an average” for their planning - boats have never been a part of the marsh system at Sunset Beach. BEAT suspects this method for determining "an average depth" may act s a precedent for future dredging projects in Jinks Creek and beyond.

 

The Board of Directors of BEAT are asking you to DO something to invest in the future health of our environment.  Preserve, Conserve, and Advocate.  That is our mission.  Your personal letter via email will matter if you make the effort and cite non-emotional reasons and facts.

 

DCM Position:  If no comments are received, the citizenship has no objections to the proposed dredging project.

For the BEAT Board of Directors, Ted Janes

21 Day Public Comment Link

Dr. Braxton C. Davis, Director

Division of Coastal Management

braxton.davis@NCDENR.gov

If you are interested in learning more about harmful environmental impacts of exposure to chemicals in our environment, please remember to save the date: Sunday, September 22, 2019 to attend a talk presented by Dr. Leo Trasande. The talk is to be held at the Waccamaw Library on Pawley's Island, SC from 3:00PM to 4:00PM. It is sponsored by the Chirping Bird Society and Club 142 United.

 

Following in the footsteps of Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring and Theo Colborn’s Our Stolen Future, best-selling author, researcher and pediatrician Leo Trasande reveals the far-reaching health implications of chemicals in our environment. He describes the recent research which exposes the subtle and long-lasting effects of endocrine disrupting chemicals (EDCs) and proposes remedies that begin with the individual family and expand to worldwide economies.

https://www.leotrasande.com/events 

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A GREAT STEP FORWARD!

(BUT MORE STEPS TO GO)

On Thursday, July 27th, North Carolina's Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Air Quality. put a hold on plans by an Australian company to use methyl bromide in log-fumigation plants in Camden, Halifax, Columbus and Martin counties. In addition existing permits for five facilities in Bladen, Columbus, New Hanover, and Wayne counties will be modified within the next 60 days. Residents of these communities, BEAT, and many other environmental groups have strenuously objected to the use of methyl bromide and the lack of controls in place to eliminate its harmful effects.

 

DAQ said more information was needed on how the proposed facilities would safeguard public health from the toxic gas. Methyl bromide is used as a fumigant and pesticide, is highly toxic and an ozone-depleting compound, according to the EPA. The agency phased out most allowed uses of methyl bromide between 1999 and 2005, but it’s still allowed to fumigate logs. DAQ stated that a review of current and proposed facilities made it clear there is a need for state regulations for methyl bromide use. 

BEAT expresses appreciation to the state agencies and state officials who have stepped up to protect the health of our people and to all those who came together on this important cause. 

Read more:

 

BEAT's NEW ENVIRONMENTAL AWARDS HONOR TERRIFIC INDIVIDUALS!

 

Marilyn Priddy

2019 Friend of the Environment Award

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

       

       Dr. Richard Hilderman

       

       2019 Distinguished

       Service Award

Randy Sturgill

Senior Campaign Organizer for the

Southeast Region, Oceana

2018 Distinguished Service Award

 

    Randy Thompson

    Brunswick County

        Commissioner -

              District 1

 2018 Friend of the

Environment Award

M. Priddy - Award 2019
Dr. Richard Hilderman - Award 2019

BEAT's EDUCATIONAL GRANTS COMMITTEE

DEVELOPS EXCITING AND AMBITIOUS PLANS

* Participate in Rockin Democracy

* Pilot Summer Environmental Program for

2nd and 3rd graders

* Reach out to other environmental groups

* Advocate for Skip the Straw Program

* Encourage all BEAT members to read

Coastal Review Online

Great going to Teddy Altreuter (Chair), Dianne Cherry, Rosemary D'Ettore,  Denise Donnelly, Nina Marable, Marty Mentzner, Anne Neeley, and George Yu!!!

To learn more about the dredging issue in Sunset Beach please read  Dr. Hilderman's essays on the issue by clicking on the purple link below.

To read all of BEAT's Position Statements (Including a recent statement on methyl bromide), click on the following link:

Have a suggestion for the BEAT Website? A group or agency that should be listed? An article, online reference, or video that could be included? A BEAT event that we overlooked? A creative idea? Please click on the "Suggestion Box for BEAT Website" in the footer and send it in!