Volunteers joined the southeast staff and interns for a lovely day at the pristine Waterfront Park at Sunset Beach to assess the development on the living shoreline constructed this past January along the Intracoastal Waterway. The project is a result of the partnership between the North Carolina Coastal Federation and the Town of Sunset Beach — the recipient of Duke Energy’s Water Resources Fund grant for the establishment of a living shoreline project. This effort is aimed at restoring estuarine habitat while also decreasing erosion and improving water quality.

“The volunteers at the federation events are so committed to the meaning of our various projects and they truly are such an important and helpful part of our team,” said Greer Shivers, intern for the southeast office. “We broke up into various groups and begin transect measurements and various physical and water monitoring measurements. Some of the volunteers had never performed these tasks before but never shied away from trying something new.”

Volunteers ran transects through the marsh to measure density and diversity of the marsh, before testing different aspects of water quality, measuring new oyster growth and examining the different species inhabiting the reef. Data is collected and later input to measure and record the biological and physical health of the living shoreline. At every event, whether it’s an outreach festival or during our restoration efforts, we pick-up debris. Fortunately, there was very little debris as the community takes great pride in their environment and is very respectful of their public spaces. Thank you so much to the Town of Sunset Beach, Landfall Foundation, RBC Foundation, and NOAA Fisheries for making these projects possible.