WILMINGTON – The North Carolina Coastal Federation is pleased to announce a generous grant from the Orton Foundation to mitigate pollution, restore coastal habitats and water quality, and strengthen coastal resilience in the Lower Cape Fear River estuary. Coastal Federation efforts will include a multi-pronged approach to enhancing the region’s natural defenses against extreme weather, supporting living shorelines and oyster habitat restoration and increasing public engagement in coastal resilience.

The Orton Foundation, the North Carolina affiliate of Louis Bacon’s Moore Charitable Foundation, has long supported the Coastal Federation, from their efforts to fight pollution to their development of the Lower Cape Fear River Blueprint, which prioritizes regional water and habitat preservation and restoration initiatives. Orton Foundation also supports the Coastal Federation’s work to convey the latest scientific information about GenX contamination in the region. 

“Sound science, thoughtful leadership about resilience, and public-private collaborations are essential for sustainable coastal management,” said Louis Bacon, founder and chairman of The Moore Charitable Foundation and affiliates. “We applaud North Carolina Coastal Federation as they encourage communities to protect the economic and environmental resource that is the Lower Cape Fear River.”

The Orton Foundation grant supports oyster and living shoreline restoration throughout the Cape Fear area of North Carolina as these have proven to be resilient during hurricanes. The Coastal Federation is developing an oyster shell recycling program for new reef habitat and will host a public forum this fall promoting coastal resilience and support a training course on living shorelines for coastal development professionals. 

Low-impact shoreline resilience projects additionally protect coastal waters from pollution and stormwater runoff. Recent local habitat and stormwater projects include locations at Carolina Beach State Park, Sunset Beach, Morris Landing, Wrightsville Beach, New Hanover County Arboretum, and in Masonboro Sound.

“The Orton Foundation has been a dedicated supporter of the Coastal Federation’s efforts in the Cape Fear region,” said Coastal Federation scientist Tracy Skrabal. “Their recognition of the need to build resilience in the region by implementing the Lower Cape Fear River Blueprint and restoring coastal habitats is a reflection of their leadership and dedication to the long-term health of the region.”