12/26/08 — Hammock Beach closed for dredging

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Hammock Beach closed for dredging

By From staff reports
Published in Sports on December 26, 2008 1:46 PM

The middle section of Bear Island at Hammocks Beach State Park will close Jan. 2 through at least March 15 to allow a dredging project in the main approach channel to the island, according to the N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation.

During the dredging project, only the areas around Bogue Inlet and Bear Inlet at the eastern and western ends of the island will be accessible to boaters for recreation. The state park's visitor center and mainland area will remain open to visitors.

"We have been planning this significant dredging of Cow Channel for several years," said Paul Donnelly, park superintendent. "This brief interruption of access to Bear Island will allow us to maintain safe and regular operation of our ferry service to the island beginning this spring."

Areas on Bear Island that will be closed to visitors include: the ferry basin, including the dock and bulkhead; the roadway from the ferry waiting station to the beachfront and the middle section of the beach, including all campsites. Camping will not be permitted from Jan. 2 through March 15, or until dredging is completed.

The state park's permit allows channel dredging to a width of 50 feet and a depth of nine feet, and some dredge spoil will be pumped onto the island's beachfront. The project is funded by the N.C. Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.

Boaters are also requested to avoid Cow Channel during the dredging.

Except for 33 acres on the mainland, Hammocks Beach State Park is located on Bear Island and Huggins Island.

Bear Island is an 892-acre barrier island. The island, 3.5 miles long and less than a mile wide, is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the south and by salt marshes, estuarine creeks and the Intracoastal Waterway to the north. Bogue Inlet lies at the northeast end of the island; Bear Inlet lies to the southwest.