Pine Knoll Shores Town Hall

In 2020, the Coastal Federation partnered with the Town of Pine Knoll Shores and received funding from the N.C. Department of Justice Environmental Enhancement Grant Program and the N.C. Land and Water Fund to build a 460 ft. living shoreline at the Town Hall.

  • In April 2021, Restoration Systems constructed the majority of the living shoreline using bags of recycled oyster shells. 
  • Approximately 50 feet of the living shoreline was also constructed using new material from BIOMASON Inc. This uses all-natural materials (oyster shell, jute/hemp fibers, aggregates) cemented together by the company’s proprietary bacteria biocement. 
  • In May 2021, members from Conservation Corps N.C. worked alongside Federation staff to plant 2,800 plugs of smooth cordgrass.

Pine Knoll Shores Aquarium

Throughout the years, the Federation has had an ongoing partnership with the N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores. In 2001, the Federation worked with the Aquarium to plant marsh grasses and construct a 400-foot living shoreline made of rock materials. However, areas of the shore that were not protected by the living shoreline continued to erode, resulting in the loss of valuable salt marsh and oyster reef habitat. In 2017, Federation staff again teamed up with Aquarium staff, scientists from the UNC Institute of Marine Sciences, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Carteret Community College, and Sandbar Oyster Company to address this erosion.

Living Shoreline incorporating rock and planted marsh grasses constructed in 2001.

Through funding granted to the Federation from the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and the Southeast Aquatic Resources Partnership, Sandbar Oyster Company used their biodegradable materials to create a new 185-foot living shoreline right along the edge of the salt marsh. The Sandbar Oyster Company materials named “Oyster Catcher™”, are composed of plant-fiber cloths, such as burlap and jute erosion control cloth, that is infused with a mineral-based binder, like Portland cement.

In the spring of 2018, 2019, and 2023 student and community volunteers also assisted in planting marsh grasses along the shore.

Through recent funding from the N.C. General Assembly, the Federation is working with the Aquarium and local researchers to install additional living shorelines along the Aquarium/Theodore Roosevelt State Natural Area in 2023-2024.

Through the implementation of this project and education and outreach efforts, the shoreline at the N.C. Aquarium at Pine Knoll Shores has received significant attention and has attracted numerous researchers to use the site for living shoreline research. The shoreline continues to be used as a demonstration site to educate others about living shorelines.

Volunteers plant plugs of salt marsh grass along the Aquarium’s eroding shoreline, spring 2018 and 2019.

Funders: USFWS (1058)