Standing high atop a dune on Hutaff Island last summer, I was struck by just how remarkable it is. On my left, a mile north, was the Surf City water tower on Topsail Island. On my right, to the south, were the elegant homes of Figure 8.
But where I was standing was pristine, one of the last untouched places on the North Carolina coast, where natural processes of accretion and overwash still shape the shoreline as they have for millennia.
On warm days, families boat to Hutaff to splash in the water and marvel at flocks of birds overhead. On this visit, I watched a colony of Least Terns that seemed too numerous to count, feeding their chicks right on the open beach.
Read the full op-ed at WRAL.com.