Rules for shellfish leasing and the needs of the growing shellfish aquaculture industry are on the agenda when the state Coastal Resources Commission meets in Beaufort next week.
The commission, which sets coastal management policy for the state, is scheduled to meet 1:15 p.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 12 and 9 a.m.-noon Feb. 13 at the Beaufort Hotel, 2440 Lennoxville Road in Beaufort.
The state Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Coastal Management, which implements rules established by the commission and issues permits under the Coastal Area Management Act, or CAMA, has in recent years been faced with a growing number of issues related to floating structures that are used in shellfish aquaculture, especially floating upweller systems, or FLUPSYs.
The commission’s policy regarding floating structures has been unchanged since 1983 and deals mainly with those used for habitation or commercial purposes in any one location for more than 30 days.
Also on the agenda are requests for the commission to override Division of Coastal Management decisions regarding dredging. A variance request from town officials in Sunset Beach seeks an exception to conditions set forth in the division’s permit issued Oct. 28, 2019, for dredging in Jinks Creek.
Also, the Shinn Creek Estates Homeowners Association Inc. in Wilmington seeks a variance in response to the commission’s April 22, 2019, denial of a permit for maintenance dredging of a basin and canal, excavation of a new channel and installation of breakwaters in Shinns Creek.
The Coastal Resources Advisory Council is expected to discuss when it meets at 10 a.m. Feb. 12 proposed rules and methodology related to inlet hazard areas, or IHAs. IHAs were developed in 1978 to recognize that shorelines adjacent to inlets are more dynamic than those along the oceanfront. Significant changes have since occurred at some inlets, according to the Coastal Resources Commission Science Panel’s February 2019 recommendations.