“God made this for a park” said the Brunswick County Parks and Recreation Director when he recently visited the site.
The Town of Sunset Beach acquired the 5.2 acres of land with 1200 feet of waterfront on the Intracoastal Waterway and Mary’s Creek in order to construct a small public passive park for people to enjoy and have access to the State’s public trust waters. It is situated on a prominent point along the Intracoastal Waterway near the old Sunset Beach pontoon swing bridge site and affords beautiful views of the Waterway and nearby marshes, and a barrier island. The majority of the site is open grassed areas with many large live oak trees which will be preserved.
The Town is currently working with Withers & Ravenel to design the park and the amenities it will contain. Walking trails are expected to be included in the park design for those who want to get some fresh air and exercise while walking in the shade of trees in a beautiful setting overlooking the Waterway.
The now completed public boat ramp and fishing pier is more popular than anyone imagined it would be! Boaters, kayakers, anglers, and people who just want to sit and enjoy the sites populate the area on a daily basis. We believe that acquiring the five acres for a park next to the boat ramp site’s two acres and constructing fishing piers and overlooks, along with this adjacent public water access for launching boats, will provide people from all over the region with unique recreational and waterfront access opportunities along the North Carolina coast.
Due to the limited public access for pier fishing in our area and most of coastal North Carolina, we expect significant economic benefits upon completion of this project. The park and adjoining boat ramp site will attract fishermen to this area and will provide a positive economic impact for area stores, restaurants, and lodging. The Town’s permanent population of 3,600 (according to the State Demographer estimate) increases to approximately 15,000 in the peak summer months. In addition, the populations of adjacent Ocean Isle Beach and Calabash along with Brunswick County’s 107,000 population increase similarly, bringing thousands of people who would like to make use of such public water access facilities and area commercial establishments.