Beach Residents Want Penalties Against Coast Guard In Dredging Dispute

Residents on Wrightsville Beach are complaining about damage to their shoreline property they say was caused by illegal dredging by the U-S Coast Guard.

]An investigation last summer resulted in the Coast Guard having to establish an environmental training program. But property owners say they want stiffer penalties, and they point to another example of illegal dredging.

The use of propeller wash to dig a channel in Currituck Sound led to criminal charges for the former director of the state ferry system and four employees.

But the Coast Guard says it didn't know the dredging was illegal. Officials say they did it so that they would have a place to park patrol boats.

And the Army Corps of Engineers says no charges were filed because the Coast Guard didn't intentionally break the law and the dredging was relatively small in size.