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Perceptions of Beach Users. Michael Slattery Eddie Crowell Chrissy Covington Andy Ostrowski Kimberly Cooke Benjamin Overton. Outline of Presentation. Introduction History of Island Geology Demographics and population Wildlife and their protection Public Beach Survey Interviews

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perceptions of beach users

Perceptions of Beach Users

Michael Slattery

Eddie Crowell

Chrissy Covington

Andy Ostrowski

Kimberly Cooke

Benjamin Overton

outline of presentation
Outline of Presentation
  • Introduction
    • History of Island
    • Geology
    • Demographics and population
    • Wildlife and their protection
  • Public Beach Survey
  • Interviews
  • Conclusion
    • Suggestions for the future
history of the island
History of the Island
  • Originally called New Hanover Banks and owned by state
  • 1791-1881: Island transferred into private hands
  • 1853: Carolina Yacht Club- 1st structure on Wrightsville Beach
  • 1887: Turnpike and Wilmington Seacoast Railroad company built
  • 1897: Hammocks Hotel built
history of the island1
History of the Island
  • 1899: Town of Wrightsville Beach incorporated
  • 1905: Lumina Hotel Built
  • 1935: Two lane bridge built connecting Wrightsville Beach and Wilmington
  • 1954: Hurricane Hazel struck and destroyed 100-250 homes
geology
Geology
  • The geology of a barrier island is variable, but can be generalized
slide6

Waites Island

http://www.coastal.edu/cmws/waites/aerials.html

wrightsville island complex
Wrightsville Island complex
  • Lacking well defined dune system
  • No back barrier marsh or maritime forest environments. Basically flat sand backed by human structures a lagoon
slide9

Wrightsville Beach

Above:

http://www.lighthouse-aerials.net/wrightsville_beach_n.htm

Right:

http://homepage.mac.com/credmond/iblog/C533520058/E1712645515/

wildlife and protection
Wildlife and protection
  • Mainly focused on the North end of Wrightsville
  • Bird sanctuary instituted
  • Protects endangered Piping Plover
beach management
Beach Management
  • CAMA Land Use Plan
  • Small commercial area (11.8%) centered in the town with residential stretched out to the periphery (47.9%)
  • Expansion potential nearly exhausted

Town of Wrightsville Beach CAMA Land Use Plan Update 2003-2005.

beach management continued
Beach Management (continued)
  • Two AECs
  • Estuarine and Ocean Systems, and Ocean Hazards system
  • Important due to average erosion of 2 ft./yr
beach survey
Beach Survey
  • Purpose
    • Wanted to get Peoples’ thoughts on their Idea of Wrightsville Beach
  • Procedure
    • Questionnaire was developed for beach users to answer in a couple of minutes
    • Survey done by two members on two separate dates
      • Saturday, October 16, 2004 and Tuesday, October 19, 2004
survey questions
Survey Questions
  • Are you a local of the area or visiting?
  • How many times a year do you come to this area for recreation?
    • 1-2
    • 3-4
    • More than 4
  • Do you visit any of the other beaches in the area?
    • Carolina
    • Kure
    • Fort Fisher
    • Wrightsville
    • Topsail
    • Other
  • Which is your favorite local beach?
    • Carolina
    • Kure
    • Fort Fisher
    • Wrightsville
    • Topsail
    • Other
survey questions continued
Survey Questions Continued
  • While at the beach, what activities do you participate in?
    • Surfing
    • Sunbathing
    • Entertain children
    • Boating/kayaking
    • Clamming/Fishing
    • Scuba diving
    • Camping
    • Swimming
    • Read/relax/study
    • Socialize/meet people
    • Other
  • Are you aware of beach renourishment projects protecting the beaches?
  • Do you support these renourishment efforts?
  • Would you be willing to pay a little more for continued renourishment/protection projects?
interviews
Interviews
  • Get insight from town officials and government officials
  • Thoughts and suggestions on important issues of coastal management and beach use
people interviewed
People Interviewed
  • Ted Wilgis – NC Coastal Federation
  • Erin Diener – Surfrider
  • Keith Harris – US Army Corps of Engineers
  • John Carey – Wrightsville Beach Police Chief
  • Melinda Powell – intern at Wrightsville Beach Town Hall
  • Dr. Mark Imperial – UNCW professor of Political Science and Public Administration
  • Avery Roberts – Mayor of Wrightsville Beach
  • Trey Jordan – Alderman of Wrightsville Beach
  • Michael Vukelich – Public Works Director of Wrightsville Beach
interview questions
Interview Questions

What do you believe to be the biggest threat to Wrightsville Beach?

  • Overdevelopment – growing tourist industry, lack of concern for environment
  • Privatization of island
  • Erosion – hurricanes, etc.
  • Environmental threats – water quality
  • Funding for nourishment
  • Local population decreasing
  • Migration of islands
interview questions1
Interview Questions

What are the impacts of beach restoration projects on the economy of Wrightsville Beach?

  • Positive – wider, family beach, increased tourism, increased property sales, beach provides 80% of economy
  • Negative – pollution, problems with renourishment
  • Little effect because federal and state budgets provide funds
  • Without restoration, WB would not exist
  • Hugely important to tourism
interview questions2
Interview Questions

Do you think current setback requirements are effective?

  • No – erosion rates are changing, setbacks not adequate
  • Yes – but homeowners want to maximize lots, not enough room for large yards
  • Effective in reducing storm damage
interview questions3
Interview Questions

What role do the inlet management projects play in maintaining a healthy beach?

  • Negative – too much habitat impacted, positive results only temporary, too much maintenance
  • Serves as filter for beach pollution
  • Should stabilize sand instead of constantly moving it
  • Too much dredging
  • Should maintain inlets
  • Dredging to renourish
  • Preserves WB property
interview questions4
Interview Questions

Of what value is the protected habitat at the north end of Wrightsville Beach (past Shell Island)?

  • Very important!
  • Too small
  • Provides small haven for WB wildlife
  • Valuable natural resource
  • Necessary because of inlet project
  • Animals are smart, could find another place on their own
  • Very successful
interview questions5
Interview Questions

How would you rate Wrightsville Beach’s plan for hurricane preparedness?

  • Voted Best Evacuation Plan on the East Coast (2000)
  • Better since Fran and Floyd
  • High density projects create problem
  • Plan designed for Cat. 3 or smaller
  • Should set deadline to decide about evacuation – have been to reluctant in the past
  • Local officials respond well
interview questions6
Interview Questions

Are you satisfied with the success of protection projects at the beach?

  • Sand not compatible with natural sand
  • Should reduce density of development
  • Would be more damage without it
  • Positive impact on economy
  • Disturbs environment
  • Need more protection of non-coastal wetlands
  • Need to limit density
interview questions7
Interview Questions

Are you satisfied with the current management practices affecting your beach’s health? If not, what kind of changes would you like to implement?

  • Need more compatible sand
  • Need alternative to beach nourishment
  • Need more political action and citizen awareness
  • More control on polluters
  • Property owners need to realize real costs of protecting their property
  • Tourist Development Authority does not spend funds appropriately
  • Need better setbacks
interview questions8
Interview Questions

What are your views on the distribution of funding for beach protection projects?

  • Currently – 65% local, 35% federal
  • People who benefit should pay more
  • Should implement assessments – those closer to beach pay more
  • Room occupancy tax
  • More funding
  • State should have control
interview questions9
Interview Questions

What do you perceive is the future potential of residential/commercial development in the Wrightsville Beach area? How would this be affected by the continuation or termination of protection projects?

  • If projects stop – decrease in property value, less tourism
  • Restoration gives false sense of security
  • Area is maxed out
  • More regulations
interview questions10
Interview Questions

What do you think is the biggest obstacle for Wrightsville Beach in the next 1-3 years with respect to beach health and productivity?

  • Overdevelopment
  • Need appropriate sand for beach
  • Tighter environmental legislation
  • Water quality
  • Possibility of losing funding
  • Parking
  • Maintain family beach
interview questions11
Interview Questions

What is the most important use for your beach as a resource?

  • Natural environment
  • Recreation
  • Potential damage reduction – wider beach, dunes
  • Both economic and recreational – important for tourism
  • Very important to economy
conclusion
Conclusion
  • Wrightsville Beach is a barrier island that will continuously change physically and demographically
  • The preservation of Wrightsville Beach’s natural systems is imperative to the quality of life for its citizens and visitors
  • A little more than ½ of population surveyed are aware of beach nourishment projects, while ¾ favor the efforts taken
conclusion continued
Conclusion (continued)
  • There is almost 100% support of nourishment projects and ¾ surveyed are willing to pay more for renourishment projects
  • Biggest threat to Wrightsville Beach, based on personal interviews, is erosion and feel that renourishment is vital to the economy and the beach itself
  • Federal support is imperative for the next 7-8 years for Wrightsville Beach to successively accumulate it’s own funding for renourishment
suggestions for the future
Suggestions for the Future
  • Continue to renourish the beach
  • Control gentrification
  • Continue to research beach protection options

http://www.greatrentals.com/NC/3206/4778-beach.jpg

slide43

“We, the residents, business and property owners of the Town of Wrightsville Beach, shall maintain and enhance our community as one of the finest family oriented beach communities in the United States.”~Town of Wrightsville Beach Vision Statement