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Rouzer Applauds Army Corps’ Emergency Action for Wrightsville Beach

  • Wrightsville Beach

WASHINGTON, DC - After working with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to identify an emergency solution to address the critical storm damage reduction needs of Wrightsville Beach, Congressman David Rouzer (NC-07) applauds the decision from the Corps to exercise a Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) emergency exception. 

Today’s decision from USACE means the Masonboro Inlet, which has traditionally been used as the borrow site for Wrightsville Beach, will be utilized for the upcoming Wrightsville Beach renourishment project. 

“I’m pleased the Army Corps of Engineers has approved an emergency exception allowing Wrightsville Beach to use their 50-year traditional borrow site," said Congressman Rouzer.  "I appreciate the Corps working closely with me and my office to find the most expedient solution to address the Biden Administration’s new interpretation of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act handed down by the Department of Interior that has been preventing the use of sand from Masonboro Inlet for renourishment of the beach.

“For long-term certainty, this emergency exception needs to be made permanent.  H.R. 524, legislation I introduced at the beginning of this new Congress would do just that.  A long-term fix is imperative for protection from storm damage as well as resiliency, maintaining the natural ecosystem, and to protect our local economy.”

"We are very pleased and gratified that the decision has been made that we can procure sand from our historical borrow site," said Wrightsville Beach Mayor Darryl Mills.  "This is a common sense decision that squares completely with the spirit and intent of the Coastal Barrier Resources Act. I wish to thank all of the people that made such an effort to bring this about, particularly Congressman Rouzer and the local US Army Corps of Engineers. That said, we should never have been in this emergency situation and it underscores the importance of H.R. 524 and the continuing work of Congressman Rouzer and his staff on our behalf."

"The Corps of Engineers' decision to go back to the Masonboro Inlet borrow source is fantastic news," said New Hanover County Board of Commissioners Chair Bill Rivenbark. "We also fully support Congressman Rouzer's work on H.R. 524, which would codify exemptions for our beaches from rule interpretations related to the Coastal Barrier Resources Act zones and would ensure the continued use of recycled sand that has proven successful for decades."


Since coming to Congress, Congressman Rouzer has worked to ensure North Carolina’s coastal communities, like Wrightsville Beach, are protected and have the resources they need after severe weather events. 

Most recently, Congressman Rouzer introduced H.R. 524 at the start of the 118th Congress to reverse the Biden Administration’s decision prohibiting Wrightsville Beach from using their traditional borrow site for beach renourishment.

Earlier this month, Congressman Rouzer and Wrightsville Beach Mayor Darryl Mills testified in support of H.R. 524 during the House Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife and Fisheries legislative hearing.  New Hanover County Commissioners and the Wilmington City Council both passed resolutions in support of H.R. 524.

In December 2022, Congressman Rouzer secured a provision in the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 (WRDA) to direct the Secretary to fund the increase in project cost that results from a legal requirement to use a sediment source that is not the least-cost option for specific projects which includes the Wrightsville Beach and the Carolina Beach and Vicinity Coastal Storm Risk Management projects.

In January 2022, Congressman Rouzer worked to secure $11.6 million for the Wrightsville Beach Coastal Storm Damage Reduction (CSDR) project.  The funding will be administered through the Disaster Relief and Supplemental Appropriations Act of 2022 and the U.S. Army Civil Works Program Flood Control and Coastal Emergencies Work Plan.  Rouzer, Senator Burr, Senator Tillis, and Rep. David Price, wrote letters to the Army for Civil Works and the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) urging them to approve the Wrightsville Beach funding proposal.

In June 2021, Congressman Rouzer questioned Lieutenant General Scott A. Spellmon, Chief of Engineers and Commanding General, USACE during a Subcommittee on Water Resources and Environment hearing regarding the funds for the CSDR projects at Wrightsville Beach and Carolina Beach and vicinity.