Keep Estuarine Shorelines Healthy & Productive
North Carolina’s 12,000 miles of estuarine shoreline provide some of the most productive habitats in the world for fish and shellfish. Unfortunately, the erosion of these shorelines is increasing because of rising sea levels, concentrated waves from boats, more extreme storms, and poorly planned development practices. Erosion control structures like bulkheads are not as effective as living shorelines in protecting shorelines. By installing buffers using salt marsh, oyster reefs, and other natural materials, living shorelines control erosion while protecting the natural beauty and productivity of our estuaries.
Interested in building a living shoreline on your property? Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to receive more information.
The Coastal Federation remains committed to making living shorelines the go-to approach for managing shoreline erosion. We have secured public and private funding that will help us provide increased financial incentives to landowners for living shorelines.
Our work to promote living shorelines is being advanced with a $2 million appropriation from N.C. General Assembly as well as other state and federal grants. With public and private funds, we will build over 3,000 feet of living shorelines on private properties. By working with contractors, students, and community volunteers we’ll enhance at least 400 feet of existing living shoreline at Jockey’s Ridge State Park; build an additional 200 feet of living shoreline at Carteret County’s future boat ramp location in Ocean; construct 800 feet and design and permit another 845 feet of living shorelines along NC Hwy 24 in Cedar Point and Swansboro. We’ll also design, permit and begin the construction of 1,667 feet of living shoreline at MCAS Cherry Point and 2,408 feet of living shoreline at Fort Macon State Park. We plan to build 60 feet of living shoreline at Topsail Beach and begin construction of five acres of oyster, living shoreline and salt marsh; and 13 acres of tidal creek and marsh at Carolina Beach State Park. In addition, we will secure funding and permits for 150 feet of demonstration living shoreline using oyster castles and OysterCatcherTM materials, and maintain 1,860 feet of existing living shoreline at Morris Landing.
We will also test more environmentally acceptable materials for living shoreline construction, provide continuing education for public officials, contractors, and real estate professionals and work with researchers to increase public understanding of the value of living shorelines.
Learn how living shorelines outperform bulkheads during storms and cost less to repair.
Click here to read about how living shorelines work and the many benefits of natural shoreline stabilization.
The North Carolina Coastal Federation has developed a working map of sites along the North Carolina coast where living shorelines have been built. This map features descriptions, photos, funding agencies and more. Click on the various sites below and check back for new additions.
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: