(a) The General Assembly finds that there are many privately owned lots or tracts of land in close proximity to the Atlantic Ocean and the coastal waters in North Carolina that have been and will be adversely affected by hazards such as erosion, flooding, and storm damage. The sand dunes on many of these lots provide valuable protective functions for public and private property and serve as an integral part of the beach sand supply system. Placement of permanent substantial structures on these lots will lead to increased risks of loss of life and property, increased public costs, and potential eventual encroachment of structures onto the beach.
(b) The public has traditionally fully enjoyed the State's beaches and coastal waters and public access to and use of the beaches and coastal waters. The beaches provide a recreational resource of great importance to North Carolina and its citizens and this makes a significant contribution to the economic well-being of the State. The General Assembly finds that the beaches and coastal waters are resources of statewide significance and have been customarily freely used and enjoyed by people throughout the State. Public access to beaches and coastal waters in North Carolina is, however, becoming severely limited in some areas. Also, the lack of public parking is increasingly making the use of existing public access difficult or impractical in some areas. The public interest would best be served by providing increased access to beaches and coastal waters and by making available additional public parking facilities. There is therefore, a pressing need in North Carolina to establish a comprehensive program for the identification, acquisition, improvement, and maintenance of public accessways to the beaches and coastal waters. (1981, c. 925, s. 1; 1983, c. 751, s. 13; 1989, c. 344; s. 2; 1995, c. 183, s. 2.)
Last modified: March 23, 2014