Land Trust and partners plan
project to stop erosion at Springer’s Point
North Carolina Coastal Land Trust will begin work this spring on a
natural shoreline restoration project, known as a “Living Shoreline,”
at its popular nature preserve on Ocracoke Island.
“Springer’s Point is an ecological and cultural gem for locals and
visitors alike,” said Lee Leidy, attorney and Northeast Region Director
of the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, which owns and manages the
122-acre nature preserve. “Unfortunately, the shoreline at the preserve
no longer functions like a natural shore system, and areas that
previously served as an important buffer to the maritime forest are now
The Living Shoreline project focuses on restoring approximately 500
feet of shoreline near Old Slough.
shorelines are alternatives to bulkheads that protect eroding
shorelines while creating important estuarine habitat,” said Erin
Fleckenstein, Northeast Coastal Scientist with the North Carolina
oyster bag sill will be placed offshore and parallel to the existing
marsh to create a living breakwater, which will allow a natural aquatic
ecosystem to form. The area between the oyster bag sill and the
shoreline will then be planted with native marsh grasses.
goal is that the sill will buffer wind and wave-driven erosion so that
the shore can accrete and build naturally. At the same time,
maintenance work on the existing jetty will also be carried out.
The Coastal Land Trust has contracted with the North Carolina Coastal
Federation, which has completed more than 20 “Living Shoreline”
projects at locations on the coast, including state parks, to design
and implement the project.
projects offer the opportunity to combine shoreline protection with
habitat creation for estuarine organisms. We are excited to partner
with the Coastal Land Trust to protect the shoreline at Springer’s
Point,” said Fleckenstein.
“Springer’s Point is very important to Ocracoke and the Outer Banks, so
we are grateful but not surprised that so many in the community have
stepped forward to help,” said Lee Leidy.
fisherman will help bag the oyster shell and build the oyster bag sill,
and contractors from Hatteras and Wanchese will assist with the
maintenance work on the jetty. Volunteers from local schools and the
community will be recruited to assist with the planting of marsh grass.
Coastal Land Trust plans to begin the restoration work as soon as
possible, but no later than this month, and hopes to complete the marsh
grass plantings by the end of May.
If necessary, the Coastal Land Trust will temporarily close the
preserve to visitors for safety reasons and to promote the success of
the project. The preserve is currently open and will be open
Funding for the Living Shoreline project at Springer’s Point Preserve
is being provided by grants from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
the National Partnership between the NOAA Community-Based Restoration
Program and Restore America’s Estuaries, and by private donations to
North Carolina Coastal Land Trust.
North Carolina Coastal Land Trust works with landowners in North
Carolina to save the lands at the coast for the benefit of all North
Carolinians. Since 1992, the trust has helped save more than
48,000 acres of land in 22 coastal counties of the state. The
Coastal Land Trust has offices in Elizabeth City, Wilmington, and New
More information about the Living Shoreline project at Springer’s Point
and about North Carolina Coastal Land Trust is available at www.coastallandtrust.org.