HOLLY RIDGE — The North Carolina Coastal Federation and the town are partnering to build a new dock at the Morris Landing Clean Water Preserve to provide community access and showcase improved and more resilient dock construction standards.
This past year, the Coastal Federation successfully lobbied the North Carolina General Assembly to reinstate building standards for residential docks and piers to ensure they do not break apart during storms. Following Hurricane Florence in 2018, half of all the docks and piers along the southeast and central coasts were damaged or destroyed resulting in widespread marine debris.
This year, the General Assembly adopted language that requires docks built in estuarine waters to comply with Chapter 36 of the state building code.
Coastal Advocate Kerri Allen, who led the charge for this new law on behalf of the Coastal Federation, explained that this move by the General Assembly will ensure that docks and piers are built to a stronger standard, which will advocates said will not only prevent future dock debris but benefit coastal property owners by reducing the amount of costly repairs.
“Through our marine debris removal program, we consistently saw that about 90% of the debris being removed was from residential docks. When you take into consideration the fact that our crews remove over 2,000 pounds of debris every day, that adds up,” Allen explained.
Holly Ridge Public Works Director Mike McFann shared his enthusiasm for the Morris Landing pier construction that is being funded by the North Carolina Coastal Recreational Fishing License Grant Program.
“The Town of Holly Ridge is excited to be part of the Morris Landing Pier renovation. With the updated materials used in the reconstruction of the pier, the Coastal Federation and the Town of Holly Ridge are proud to display how piers and docks can be constructed to higher standards,” McFann said. “With these higher standards, there will be large savings on maintenance costs and increased durability. We are also excited for the sixty-foot ‘T’ that will be added to the end of the pier to give family and visitors more space to enjoy the coastal waters.”
The old wooden dock is currently being replaced using stronger materials, the footprint will also be updated to be more accessible, and the fishing pier area will be expanded to accommodate more use by the fishing community.
Morris Landing Clean Water Preserve is a 52-acre property that contains coastal shrub scrub and forest habitat, salt marsh, and tidal creek areas and has over 3,000 feet of shoreline along Stump Sound. The preserve is located in the heart of the very productive shellfish growing areas of Stump Sound and is an excellent site to stage oyster restoration and shellfish enhancement activities.
The Coastal Federation publishes Coastal Review.