CAROLINA BEACH, NC (WWAY) — There is serious hope that a wheelchair-accessible beach mat could return to Carolina Beach this summer.
Non-profit Ocean Cure has placed the mat in the sand in front of the boardwalk for the past several summers.
Last year, the mat was taken up prior to Hurricane Isaias. However, many obstacles following the storm, including sand loss, and concerns about compliance issues from the state kept them from installing it back down.
North Carolina Wildlife Commission says the mat violated wildlife protection laws.
Back in September, Ocean Cure and the town filed an application with the Division of Coastal Management for a CAMA permit.
Ocean Cure Founder Kevin Murphy says the town and parks and recreation “have been working extremely hard over the past couple of months completing and submitting the variance request.”
He adds that communication with the North Carolina Environmental Quality Division of Coastal Management has been “very positive.”
“They have helped lead us through this process and made recommendations,” Murphy wrote in a Facebook post on Friday. “Personally, I am very hopeful that the variance will be granted in the February meeting.”
The NC Coastal Resources Commission is scheduled to review the request for a variance at their meeting on Feb 17 and 18. If granted, Murphy says this would allow the mat to be installed again this summer.
Murphy encourages those in favor of the mat returning to Carolina Beach to send comments to Braxton Davis at the Division of Coastal Management.
You can do so by email, fax, or mail.
Fax: (252) 247-3330