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Atlantic Harbor Project Nears Completion

Drone footage Aug. 14 shows the progress of the Atlantic Harbor Dredging and Living Shoreline Project in Carteret County.

Reprinted from Carteret County News-Times.

The massive Atlantic Harbor improvement moved into its penultimate stage last week.

Contractor TD Eure of Beaufort began the process of installing attenuators to limit the energy of waves that go through fish passages left in a rock sill around White Point in Core Sound, just offshore from the harbor.

Greg Rudolph, manager of the Carteret County Shore Protection Office, said in an email Friday, “construction of the granite sill is complete, and TD Eure is working on grading the dredge spoil at White Point.

“It’s all looking really, really good,” Rudolph added. “The first piling (for an attenuator) has been sunk as a test run.”

Eventually, there will be five attenuators at each of the six fish passages through the granite sill. The attenuators fit like lollipops into a circular sleeve and are clamped into place.

Once that work is complete, the North Carolina Coastal Federation, which is paying for much of the project through a $1.1 million grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, will put in thousands of marsh grass plants to further impede erosion of White Point, which protects the harbor from sedimentation and wave energy.

The federation, an environmental group based in the Ocean community on N.C. 24, funded about half of the project because the rock sill and marsh grass — cordgrass and possibly needle rush — will provide habitat for juveniles of many marine species, including oyster larvae, which attach to rocks.

The granite sill is 1,700 feet long and the contractor used 9,545 tons of stone.

The shore protection office has sought permits for the complicated project and guided it through planning stages and years of discussion of what should be done to make the Down East Carteret County harbor safe and usable by commercial fishermen and other boaters for the foreseeable future.

Rudolph said the budget for the project is $2.115 million, and since the state also contributed funds, the county’s share of the total cost should be about $200,000. The county has a contract option and a grant extension to dredge the harbor itself, but officials have not determined whether that is necessary.

The county awarded the contract to T.D. Eure in March and work began in mid-April.

This story has been updated to correct the source of funding.

This story is provided courtesy of the Carteret County News-Times, a newspaper based in Morehead City. Coastal Review Online partners with the News-Times to provide our readers with news of the North Carolina coast.

About the Author

Brad Rich

Brad Rich is a reporter for the Carteret County News-Times in Morehead City. He has written about fishery and environmental issues along the central North Carolina coast for 35 years. He lives in Hubert with his wife, Gwen.