Shoreline Restoration and Stormwater Runoff Reduction

Along the shoreline at the Carteret Community College campus in Morehead City, a variety of living shoreline approaches were installed to demonstrate environmentally friendly alternatives to traditional shoreline stabilization methods.

Project Updates: 2019 – Present

The eastern portion of the shoreline at the College that was not protected by living shorelines sustained more than $1 million in damage as a result of Hurricane Florence in 2018. Due to damages to their bulkhead, the College anticipates that another storm like Hurricane Florence may compromise the Bryant Student Center foundation and cause potentially catastrophic damage to the Crystal Coast Civic Center, and multiple other buildings. The imminent damage motivated college officials and community members to protect the site by building living shorelines after seeing the longevity and success of the one that the federation built over a decade ago along the western portion of their shoreline.

In 2019, the Federation worked alongside the College and its engineer to design and secure funding to restore the remaining College shoreline with an additional living shoreline.  Construction of a 1,250 granite sill and the planting of 26,000 salt marsh grasses was completed in 2021,  protecting and restoring 17.5 acres of salt marsh, oysters, and upland including 4 buildings on campus.

The rock sill was constructed by T.A. Loving. Students from Morehead City Middle School and Teacher’s Pet participated in the plantings, as well as staff from Carteret Community College, Parker Offshore, LLC, and Big Rock Sports, LLC. Additionally, several local Scouts, members from Unitarian Coastal Fellowship in Morehead City, and other community volunteers joined in on the effort.

Rebuilding the campus shoreline and carefully planning its resilient restoration will help protect the educational instruction, employment, community water access, and events that generate business and revenue within Carteret County. The project was supported by funds from the Golden LEAF Foundation, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, and the N.C. Community College System.

Learn more from the Carteret News-Times article here.

2004 – 2007 Projects:

The Federation worked with many partners beginning in 2004 to build living shorelines along the western portion of the campus using a variety of living shoreline methods. These techniques included offshore stone breakwaters, stone and oyster shell bag sills, reef balls, a stormwater wetland, and plantings of salt marsh and other wetland plants landward of these structures. The project was part of a campus-wide stormwater management plan and also included the transplanting and enhancement of seagrass. In addition to shoreline stability, these techniques were designed to provide salt marsh, oyster, and seagrass habitats and to improve the water quality of Bogue Sound.


Project Partners:

Project Partners for these efforts include: Carteret Community College, N.C. State University’s Center for Marine Science & Technology, Duke University Marine Laboratory, University of Chapel Hill’s Institute of Marine Sciences, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, North Carolina Sea Grant, N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, N.C. Shellfish Sanitation Section, N.C. Division of Water Quality, students and community volunteers.


Funding was provided by the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership, National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, North Carolina Land and Water Fund, Progress Energy, Restore America’s Estuaries, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.. The College also provided support through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, Golden Leaf Foundation, institutional funds, and state Hurricane Florence Recovery funds.

Additional Resources: