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Kitty Hawk Living Shoreline Project Wraps Up

Erin Fleckenstein, coastal scientist for the North Carolina Coastal Federation, and Kitty Hawk Mayor Gary Perry, explains in this video Moor Shore Road living shoreline project.

KITTY HAWK — More than 100 volunteers for two weeks this summer joined North Carolina Coastal Federation, the town, landowners and Dare Soil and Water Conservation District to plant nearly 10,000 plugs of black needlerush, a native marsh grass species, to complete the 600-foot Moor Shore Road living shoreline project.

The project was put in place to stabilize the shoreline along the historic Moor Shore Road in Kitty Hawk and build back lost marsh habitat.

Volunteers plant thousands of black needlebrush in July as part of the Moor Shore Road living shoreline project site in Kitty Hawk. Photo: Coastal Federation

The project began in December with the installment of seven vertical sills intended to slow waves and dissipate energy. The planning and construction of the sills was executed through a partnership of  property owners along the road, the town, North Carolina Department of Transportation and Dare County Soil and Water, according to the federation. This is the first living shoreline project in the state involving NCDOT.

After the sill was installed, marsh grasses were planted over the two weeks in July by volunteers from Better Beaches OBX, Outer Banks Running Club, North Carolina Aquarium at Roanoke Island, a summer camp group from the Aquarium, 4-H Groups from Dare and Camden counties, River City YouthBuild of Elizabeth City, as well as community members.

The marsh grasses, which further dissipate the waves and hold the shorelines sediment in place, also serves as a habitat for wetland species like crabs, small fish and shrimp and improve water quality.

“The generosity from the volunteer groups saved the federation and the town of Kitty Hawk a great deal of time and money,” according to the release.”It also served as a great way to engage the community in the living shoreline project and help people understand the project’s value and importance.”

Ann Daisey of Dare County Soil and Water said in a statement that she’s happy for the many benefits this marsh sill will provide to the community, including providing wetland habitat for flood mitigation, wildlife and fisheries habitat, reducing shoreline erosion and filtering stormwater runoff.

“The funding partners and partnerships created through this project showcase a perfect example of what we can accomplish together, especially when it comes to managing the county’s natural resource concerns,” Daisey added. “I’m proud that the Dare Soil and Water Conservation District played a part in securing funds from the state’s Community Conservation Assistance Program for this great project.”

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The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.