Volunteers plant marsh grass at the Moor Shore Road living shoreline in Kitty Hawk.

Volunteers plant marsh grass at the Moor Shore Road living shoreline in Kitty Hawk.

Driving along Moor Shore Road in Kitty Hawk the other morning, we noticed a bunch of people wading in the waters of Kitty Hawk Bay.

Curiosity getting the better of us we stopped and asked what was happening.

Seems the 25 or 30 people on hand were planting marsh grass to put the finishing touches on a living shoreline project.

According to the folks from the North Carolina Coastal Federation, who hosted the event and managed the project, two more groups of volunteers will be stopping by to finish the plantings.

How the Moor Shore Road Living Shoreline Project Was Paid For

The Moor Shore Road project is interesting. As living shoreline projects go, it’s pretty big—about 700’ long. What really seems to set the project apart, though, is how many government players there were in paying for it.

The biggest grant came from a NOAA fund designed for shoreline preservations. Interestingly though, the town of Kitty Hawk chipped in a pretty hefty amount of the $270,000 price tag. According to town officials, who were on hand, it seemed like the most effective way of preserving property along the road.

Perhaps most interesting of the donors, from what we were told, NCDOT chipped in $30,000—which was the first time the transportation department helped fund a living shoreline.

A living shoreline is designed to spread the energy of wave out. It is becoming more and more popular and is increasingly seen as a preferred alternative to bulkheads. Although bulkheads can be successful in some places, in many cases they can cause damage to the shoreline on either side of them.

Bulkheads continue to be popular because they do protect for at least a short period of time. They are also the least expensive shoreline protection method available. At least in the short-term

A living shoreline is significantly more expensive to install. However, once installed, they require very little maintenance.

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