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Shore needs help
Thank you for publishing Orrin Pilkey's cover story about the crises faced by our public beaches in North Carolina ("We're killing our beaches," Aug. 17). It was an especially timely read on the heels of Sue Sturgis' excellent story on global warming earlier this year. Dr. Pilkey has been an environmental hero to me and other coastal activists for his outspoken advocacy on behalf of our beaches in the face of the incredible political pressure driven by the shortsighted whims of an irresponsible coastal development and real estate industry.

Dr. Pilkey did a great job of laying out the problem--or at least part of the problem--that North Carolina is facing in managing its beaches. All the story lacked were clear actions for concerned readers to take. For example, as I write this, the General Assembly is poised to pass a bill authorizing the creation of a standing advisory council to develop a beach and inlet management plan for the state, among other things (HB 1542).

Citizen input may be the only thing that can prevent this council from being as blatantly stacked in favor of coastal development interests as the legislative study commission that Dr. Pilkey describes in his article.

The North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club has been involved--on a volunteer basis--in beach management and related issues for years, but we need more concerned people to help. We are planning a coastal environmental issues forum, which will feature Dr. Pilkey and other experts, to educate participants on beach management and other critical coastal issues--as well as to help us plan, proactively, to be better advocates of our precious coast. For more information or to volunteer, visit nc.sierraclub.org/co/coastal.asp or send us an e-mail at coastal@sierraclub-nc.org.
Victor D'Amato
Coastal Issues Subcommittee Chair
North Carolina Chapter Sierra Club
Raleigh

Speak out for our beaches
Your recent articles on "killing our beaches" and the "silent ones" who are largely responsible were simply fantastic. They are a must-read for anyone who lives along the North Carolina coast and anyone who loves our natural beaches.

Over-development along our coastline is destroying the natural beach environment faster than the forces of nature can absorb or heal. Thank goodness the federal government has slowed down on subsidizing the man-made disaster we call beach nourishment. Let's hope our North Carolina legislators follow suit.

I encourage everyone to speak out, no matter where you live. Write your legislators. We have too many other problems to solve and don't need to be tossing tax dollars into the ocean in more failed attempts to protect private investments along our shoreline.
Ray Midgett
Southern Shores

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