| August 8, 2016
NOAA grant will help fund living shorelines for waterfront landowners
property owners with eroding shorelines along our coastal sounds, bays,
rivers, tidal creeks and waterways may soon be eligible for financial
assistance to naturally control their erosion while increasing fish
habitat at the same time.
The North Carolina Coastal Federation recently received $75,000 in
grant funding from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
(NOAA) Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants Program to partner with
waterfront landowners and marine contractors to promote and increase
the use of living shorelines in the state. A living shoreline is a
natural alternative to hardened shoreline structures, such as bulkheads
“Right now, most people armor their eroding shorelines with bulkheads
or riprap,” said Dr. Lexia Weaver, coastal scientist with the North
Carolina Coastal Federation. “Although temporarily efficient at
preventing erosion, these structures quickly remove the valuable
intertidal habitat seaward of them. At most locations, there are better
environmental alternatives that also serve the needs of property
Living shorelines prevent erosion while maintaining the natural
functions of the shoreline and protecting valuable salt marsh habitat.
“Typically, these shorelines have an offshore structure, or what we
call a ‘speed bump for waves,’ that are made of wood, rock or recycled
oyster shells. The area landward of the structure is then planted with
native marsh grass.” Weaver said.
This combination is an effective erosion control method that maintains
a thriving coastal ecosystem full of fish, crabs and other shellfish.
Bulkheads, on the other hand, can lead to worsened erosion and often
require costly repairs.
The funding from NOAA will allow the federation to partner with
waterfront landowners to promote the use of living shorelines,
resulting in increased coastal resiliency. This three-year grant aims
to create at least 2,000 linear feet of living shoreline that will
prevent erosion along both private and public properties. The grant
funding will also be used to train marine contractors in the design and
implementation of living shorelines.
Eligible shorelines must demonstrate specific erosion criteria and a
need for shoreline protection. Selected landowners will receive a
financial incentive as well as assistance with the design, permitting
and construction of the living shoreline. The federation has $75,000
available over two years to select 10-20 projects. A typical award per
project will be around $5,000-$10,000 and will cover no more than 50
percent of the total cost of materials and labor.
“The federation will cost share selected projects with landowners to
provide incentive for them to try this method of erosion control,”
Weaver said. “We are confident that once someone installs a living
shoreline, they will see the positive results for their property and
the ecosystem. This will help us to encourage their wider use up and
down the coast.”
Interested landowners should visit www.nccoast.org/livingshoreline-costshare
to download information and an application packet, or call the
federation for more information. Applications will be accepted through
Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. Awards will be announced by Nov. 1, 2016.
The North Carolina Coastal Federation is a nonprofit membership
organization that works to keep the coast of North Carolina a great
place to live, work and play. Through a variety of programs and
partnerships, the federation provides for clean coastal waters and
habitats, advocates to protect the coast and teaches and informs people
about the coast and what they can do to protect it.
The federation has offices in Ocean, Manteo, and Wrightsville Beach.
To learn more, please visit nccoast.org or call 252-393-8185.