NEWPORT — The North Carolina Coastal Federation, publisher of Coastal Review, recently received $1.53 million from the North Carolina Land and Water Fund to support several efforts, including the nonprofit organization’s living shoreline cost-share program and large-scale wetland restoration in Carteret County.
The Coastal Federation promotes living shorelines as an environmentally friendly method to stabilize eroding shorelines in lieu of installing a bulkhead or seawall. Living shorelines have been used for more than 20 years and have withstood storm and hurricane impacts, officials said. Living shorelines also provide critical habitat for a number of species of crab, shrimp and fish.
“The Coastal Federation is so thankful for the support from the North Carolina Land and Water Fund to continue our living shoreline cost-share program. We are seeing habitat loss of vital wetlands along the coast due to the hardening of our shorelines as well as higher erosion rates due to climate change,” Coastal Resiliency Manager Sarah Bodin explained. “The program offers cost-share funding to offset the cost of constructing a living shoreline and marsh restoration while educating the public on nature-based solutions that will protect their properties and enhance those important ecosystems.
The Federation has worked with contractors to install over 8,835 feet of living shorelines on over 55 projects in 2023 alone.”
Those interested in learning more about living shorelines and if it could benefit their property can contact the Coastal Federation at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The funding received from the North Carolina Land and Water Fund will also support the Coastal Federation’s wetland restoration efforts through the purchase of nearly 800 acres adjacent to the North River Wetlands Preserve in Carteret County. The parcel sits at the headwaters of North River and is currently a ditched timber tract. This project is in partnership with the Friends of the Mountains to Sea Trail to provide a through-hike experience for hikers away from major highways.
Since its creation in 1996 by the General Assembly, the North Carolina Land and Water Fund, formerly known as the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, has conserved more than a half-million acres and protected or restored 3,000 miles of streams and rivers.
Coastal Federation Water Quality Director Bree Charron said restoring this area of land will help further improve the water quality of the North River, which has been degraded for some time. “The Federation is excited to expand the Preserve to further our mission to improve water quality in North River. Restoration of wetlands on the site will retain surface water and reestablish native habitats. It is also a prime opportunity to preserve a valuable salt marsh migration corridor,” explained Charron.