North Carolina’s policies against beach hardening have been (and are) frequently challenged, but state policies have gained broad public support and national recognition as responsible and far-sighted. Despite numerous attempts at eradicating the hardened structures ban, it survived well into the mid-1990’s and remained so popular that it passed into law in North Carolina General Statute 113A-115.1.
Currently, our state's beaches are having a tough time. As Duke Professor Emeritus Orrin Pilkey explains in the Fayetteville Observer:
North Carolina’s beaches face a lot of problems, including overdevelopment, rising sea level, rapid erosion rates, and a paucity of beach-compatible sand for beach replenishment...There is unanimous agreement among N.C. coastal geologists that mining of inlets, and groin or jetty emplacement, will likely create more problems than they solve. But our message is viewed by developers and politicians as negative, one that stands in the way of progress.
In a letter sent to NC legislators in the 2008 short session that opposed Senate Billl 599, which in theory allowed a "pilot program" of terminal groins off Figure 8 Island; practically, scientists urged regulators to look at the science; experiments have shown that that "control" technologies often damage adjacent beaches. SB 599 would have punched a sizable hole in North Carolina's science-based coastal management laws; oft-quoted and true, a common caution against beach "protection" and "renourishment" is that North Carolina doesn't want a coastline like New Jersey's. NC Sierra Club opposed SB 599 and recommends lawmakers reject any bill that threatens North Carolina’s proven, working coastal policies that prohibit beach hardening.