Octobert 2, 2018

North Carolina Coastal Federation Urges U.S. Army
Corps to Adopt Living Shoreline General Permit

The North Carolina Coastal Federation asked the United States Army Corps of Engineers to act quickly to adopt a new general permit for living shorelines to help waterfront property owners recover from Hurricane Florence.

“Living shorelines are an effective and more natural erosion control strategy that use plants and small structures to help stabilize estuarine shorelines,” said Todd Miller, executive director of the federation. “Many people with eroded shorelines and destroyed bulkheads can now benefit from the issuance of this permit.”

Earlier in the month before Hurricane Florence was even formed, the Wilmington District of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began soliciting public comments regarding a general permit for living shorelines. The comment period is set to close on Oct. 4. The federation is now urging the Corps to adopt this permit immediately after the close of the comment period in order to help property owners address erosion issues caused by Hurricane Florence. The permit will provide a more streamlined regulatory process for installing living shorelines.

Many bulkheads and other hard erosion control structures typically used as shoreline stabilization methods around coastal sounds, creeks and rivers were severely damaged during the hurricane. Based upon a preliminary evaluation conducted by the federation, dozens of the federation’s living shoreline projects installed over the past two decades are still intact and functioning well in areas heavily impacted by the hurricane.

“It’s important that the Corps approve the general permit, now more than ever, so that property owners are able to install living shorelines more efficiently and help protect their properties from future storm damages,” said Miller.

In addition to living shorelines outperforming hardened structures during storms, this erosion control method is often cheaper and more cost-efficient and it provides habitat for marine life and filters pollutants from stormwater runoff.

“In locations where a living shoreline is the best practical erosion control method, waterfront property owners need to ask their marine contractors for them rather than replacing or building new bulkheads,” said Miller.

Upon request, the federation will provide property owners with detailed information about living shorelines, and it has a list of marine contractors with past experience installing these types of shorelines.

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