There are 12,000 miles of estuarine shorelines in North Carolina that provide some of the best fish and wildlife habitats in the world. Rising seas, storms and boat wakes are causing these shorelines to erode, threatening these valuable salt marsh and oyster habitats.
Hundreds of miles of bulkheads and rock revetments have been installed over the past few decades in an attempt to control erosion. As a result, salt marshes and mudflats along shorelines are being scoured away by reflected waves. When big storms strike, many of these erosion control measures are damaged or destroyed.
Throughout North Carolina and nationally, we promote a more effective and natural way to manage shoreline erosion called living shorelines. Living shorelines are longer-term, less-expensive techniques that reduce erosion while at the same time maintaining or restoring the shoreline’s natural integrity and functions.
In addition to building public living shorelines through a half-million dollar Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), we also focus on advancing the use of living shorelines through our cost share program for private waterfront landowners.
The federation is committed to streamlining the permit process for living shorelines, promoting living shorelines to waterfront property owners and training coastal landowners and marine contractors on how to design and build these more environmentally friendly alternatives.
Check out this video from Grist, an environmental news organization, to learn more about how living shorelines work, and why they’re an effective alternative to hardened shorelines:
Living Shorelines Academy is funded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and is a product of collaboration between Restore America’s Estuaries and the North Carolina Coastal Federation — and their many partners.
The goals of the Living Shorelines Academy are to:
- Increase the abundance of coastal wetlands
- Advance the policy, science and practice of living shorelines
- Enhance collaboration among governmental and private stakeholders
The academy provides many tools:
- Living shorelines training modules that take advantage of proven training and education strategies used by the EPA for years to engage, train and learn from stakeholders
- A peer-reviewed database of white papers and reports about living shorelines
- A database of existing living shorelines projects and a map of highlighted living shorelines across the U.S.
- A directory of living shorelines professionals
- An online forum where the living shorelines community can collaborate by sharing research, ideas and photos