Coastal Communities

With over 320 miles of shoreline that generates $3 billion in economic impact and creates over 80,000 jobs, the beaches and waterways of North Carolina are critical to the state’s economy. The waterways provide economic livelihood to our fishermen, suppliers, tugboat operators, and port workers, while also providing recreational benefits to millions of tourists. Our beaches attract tourists nationwide and make North Carolina one of the most visited states in the nation with 43 million visitors a year that generate $1.2 billion in federal, state, and local tax receipts.

Our coastal communities depend on quality beaches to drive their local economies. As a founder and co-chairman of the Congressional Waterways Caucus and a member of both the House Coastal Caucus and the House Oceans Caucus, I have worked with coastal communities in Brunswick, New Hanover, and Pender Counties to ensure that their beaches and waterways are properly maintained and nourished.

In addition to beautiful beaches, Eastern North Carolina is also home of the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway (AIWW) and numerous shallow draft inlets. The AIWW and our inlets support a thriving marine economy. Thousands of boaters take to the waters year-round in North Carolina and rely upon open, safe, and navigable waterways. Our inlets and waterways support not only recreational boaters, but also significant commercial traffic. Barge traffic moves up and down the waterway, utilizing the Port of Morehead City and the Port of Wilmington, while charter boats and head boats take tourists and residents alike out on the open seas for a day of fishing. Since coming to the U.S. Congress, I have secured over half a billion dollars in funds for our beaches, waterway, inlets, and ports.


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