RALEIGH – North Carolina beachgoers may be asked to participate in a survey about public beach and waterfront access this summer. From Memorial Day through Labor Day, researchers from the University of North Carolina -Wilmington will conduct the survey on behalf of the state’s coastal agency at public beach and waterfront access sites along the North Carolina coast.
The survey is a short questionnaire that will help coastal agency staff learn how North Carolina residents and visitors perceive the state’s Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program, identify any needed changes to the program, and determine the program’s economic impacts on coastal North Carolina.
Previous phases of the study gathered input about the access program from coastal business leaders and local government officials. Study results will be presented to the state Coastal Resources Commission in Spring 2017.
The Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Program provides matching grants to local governments to construct low-cost public access facilities, including parking areas, restrooms, dune crossovers and piers. Projects range in size from small, local access areas to regional access sites with amenities such as parking lots, bathrooms and picnic shelters. Towns and counties may also use the grants to replace aging access facilities, or to help acquire land for access sites or to revitalize urban waterfronts.
More than 280 access sites have been constructed since the program began. Local governments are responsible for construction, operation and long-term maintenance of their sites.
An interactive, mobile-friendly map of all coastal public access sites is available at coastalaccess.nc.gov.