OBX Chamber of Commerce asks officials for help in Buxton Beach cleanup

By on April 1, 2024

Photo taken on March 27, 2024 showing exposed infrastructure on the beach adjacent to the Buxton Beach Access. (Cape Hatteras National Seashore)

The Outer Banks Chamber of Chamber has released an April 1 letter asking a number of officials—both locally and nationally—to take action to help cleanup the contamination that is impacting part of Buxton Beach.

That problem was the subject of a March 27 community meeting at the Fessenden Center in Buxton. And last week, Dare County Board of Commissioners Chairman Bob Woodard, Vice Chairman Wally Overman and Commissioner Danny Couch, as well as Dare County Manager Bobby Outten, traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with staff members from the offices of Senator Thom Tillis and Senator Ted Budd on the issue.

Here is the April 1 Chamber of Commerce letter signed by Chamber Board Chair Robert DeFazio and Chamber President Karen Brown.

The Outer Banks Chamber of Commerce represents nearly 850 businesses and over 3,000 employees along the 120 miles of Eastern North Carolina coastline, this includes the area of Buxton on Hatteras Island. The Outer Banks Chamber is asking you to find a solution to the beach and water contamination in Buxton’s Old Lighthouse Beach at the site of the former Navy and Coast Guard Station.

This contamination is impacting an important area of beautiful shoreline; one that, if not contained and a solution found quickly, will have detrimental implications for our businesses, rental properties, hotels, restaurants and residents. This has the potential to become a reason our visitors will find to change their summer vacation plans and go elsewhere thus impacting the local economy during peak season.

We ask that you preserve this national treasure (the Cape Hatteras National Seashore) and secure the funding and address this situation in the short-term before the summer season begins. Your support in finding a solution is very much appreciated.


SEE ALSO: At meeting, Hallac addresses Buxton contamination 

Public health advisory issued for Buxton Beach Access 

Cape Hatteras National Seashore temporarily expands beach closure at Buxton Beach Access



See what people are saying:

  • outis

    While this very unfortunate pollution at Buxton Beach Access needs to be dealt with as soon as possible, I respectively suggest that if we are not careful, we here in Dare County, are going to turn this into a bigger deal than it needs to be.
    “This has the potential to become a reason our visitors will find to change their summer vacation plans and go elsewhere thus impacting the local economy during peak season.”
    That is very likely the case if we make such a big deal about this that it become a national news story, with national news crews showing up in Buxton to put it all on TV, etc. Then people will start to think that all of the Outer Banks in now polluted and really will start changing their vacation plans.
    Let’s not make this a self-fulfilling prediction by turning it into a bigger story than it really is. This beach closure area is a relatively small section of beach. Dare County officials are working with NC Legislators and Federal officials to get this problem fixed, but cleaning up a site like this (they don’t even know the full extent of the pollution yet) is going to take time. They have to be slow and careful when doing something like this. You can’t just go charging in without knowing what you are dealing with, and having a plan to tackle it. And you cannot change that by making a big news story out of it.
    If you would just let the County officials and others work on this, while not making a huge deal out of it in the press, I think we would be better off. That is not to say we should be trying to hide what is going either. Just try to keep some perspective, and don’t make the bad news worse. And Outer Banks Voice, keep us informed about the progress on this issue.

    Wednesday, Apr 3 @ 5:43 pm
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