BEAUFORT, N.C. (WNCT) – An organization along the Crystal Coast is working to save Cape Lookout Lighthouse as rising sea levels are threatening the historic landmark.
“It’s a very special place. There’s nothing like it,” said the president of Save Cape Lookout Foundation, Joni Dennis.
The foundation is a brand new non-profit with the ultimate goal of raising awareness about the future of the landmark.
“The lighthouse itself, it won’t be there if there’s no beach,” Dennis said.
Dennis said her main concern is with the rising water getting closer and closer to the lighthouse each year.
“If that beach isn’t brought back, then we’re looking at all those structures. Specifically, at the keeper’s cottage, which is right on the water, it’s 12 feet away at high tide.”
While the lighthouse itself also needs work; she says there’s a more pressing issue at hand.
“The lighthouse needs a lot of work. It’s going to take years to do it. We don’t have years to put sand in front of the lighthouse. We need to save the lighthouse, we need the sand in front of the lighthouse. That is the main focus,” said Dennis.
WNCT did reach out to the Army Corps of Engineers to see what type of renourishment would be done in the area. They said they’ve got the funding to update their permits to work on the channel behind the lighthouse but there’s nothing set in stone yet.
“We’ll be able to put either our government plan dredge or a contract dredge in the channel back there. If we have approval to put it on the beach, and it’s good sand, we likely will. Where that is and how much it is and how that all looks is undetermined,” said Shallow Draft Navigation project manager with the Army Corps of Engineers, Brennan Dooley.
And while it’s still up in the air what’s in store for the future of the lighthouse, Dennis said she will continue to fight for this piece of Crystal Coast history.
“I’m going to stand up for that because somebody has to be able to just say, ‘Hey, this is wrong. This is that, this needs to happen now, not later, it has to happen right now,’” said Dennis.
The group is hoping to organize a community meeting about the matter in September. To follow along with the non-profit, follow them on Facebook here.