U.S. Senator Kay Hagan today introduced legislation that would fix a decades-old mistake by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that prevents many residents of North Topsail Beach from participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The bill corrects an inaccurate Coastal Barrier Resources Act (CBRA) map that mistakenly designated an area of North Topsail Beach as undeveloped.
"This mistake has burdened the residents of North Topsail Beach for far too long," said Hagan. "For over 30 years North Topsail Beach homeowners have unfairly been forced to rely on costly private flood insurance to protect their homes. Replacing this inaccurate map would save these families thousands of dollars a year."
In 1982, CBRA was enacted to protect coastal barrier islands from environmental and coastal problems caused by overdevelopment. Designating areas as "CBRA Zones" prevents further development in these areas. Properties in a CBRA zone are forced to buy expensive private insurance.
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service mistakenly included 75% of the land area of the Town of North Topsail Beach in a CBRA Zone. This land was already zoned for development and considerable infrastructure was in place. Living in an erroneously marked CBRA Zone has wrongly made purchasing expensive private insurance the only option for many homeowners in North Topsail Beach.