PENDER COUNTY — Topsail Beach has one of the top five restored beaches in America.
That’s according to the American Shore and Beach Preservation Association, or ASBPA, a nonprofit founded in 1926 to organize an effort to combat beach erosion.
Topsail Beach was named in this year’s top 5 for the town’s collaboration with non-government agencies to secure beach nourishment funding and efforts to bring the community together to back the project.
“This project has been an example of how an individual community can work with non-federal agencies to create new funding mechanisms, provide multi-level benefits to the community, create political unity within the community, and do so while being a steward of the environment,” according to an ASBPA release.
Outlined among the town’s achievements is Topsail Beach’s partnership with the state to fund dredging North Carolina’s shallow-draft inlets; building a partnership between all town property owners to protect the beach; and the town’s investment in infrastructure that enhances navigation and inlet maintenance.
“We’re mighty proud of it,” Topsail Beach Commissioner Julian Bone said. “It’s a great award for the town to have. It’s the culmination of a lot of people working together to make this beach nourishment work. I can’t say enough good things about it.”
The town’s project began in 2003, when commissioners set aside 4 cents for every $100 of assessed property valuation for a beach fund.
“This is an honor for Topsail Beach,” Town Manager Mike Rose said in a statement. “Our town officials, (Beach, Inlet and Sound) Committee and residents have worked hard on Topsail Beach’s nourishment program.”
The other beach towns announced Monday in the top 5 are Babe’s Beach in Galveston, Texas; Rosewood Beach in Highland Park, Illinois; Seabrook Island, S.C.; and Redondo Beach, Calif.
ASBPA Executive Director Derek Brockbank said 10 applications were reviewed, but stressed that the organization discourages applicants that do not likely have a shot at being named among the best.
He said among the things the organization looks at is the restoration of beaches to meet four purposes נstorm protection, ecological benefit, economic value and recreation value.
“I think in some regard we’d like to see a best restored beach hit most, if not all, of those,” Brockbank said. “We don’t have an exact criteria for each.”