MOREHEAD CITY — Carteret Community College will soon be able to repair its shoreline damaged during Hurricane Florence thanks to a $812,555 grant received from the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration/National Fish and Wildlife Foundation Emergency Coastal Resilience Fund.
CCC partnered with the N.C. Coastal Federation to submit a proposal to build a living shoreline along the college’s Bogue Sound property to reduce further erosion, while also protecting and restoring valuable salt marsh habitat.
The college will receive $812,555 of the $2.7 million grant award. The remainder of the grant will provide another large-scale living shoreline along Highway 24 between Swansboro and Cedar Point that will be done in partnership with the N.C. Coastal Federation and the N.C. Department of Transportation.
“Carteret Community College is thrilled to receive this grant,” stated CCC President Dr. John Hauser in a press release issued Tuesday about the grant award. “We partnered with the N.C. Coastal Federation on the proposal because they have the expertise of designing and building living shorelines. We wanted to create a shoreline that would protect our infrastructure, yet preserve our natural resources to create an outdoor classroom that would benefit our students.”
The college sustained more than $1 million in damage as a result of Hurricane Florence in 2018. Elevated storm surge and high wave energies scoured and compromised an existing bulkhead and walkway located several feet from one of the college’s main buildings.
CCC is part of a multi-institution education and science hub, with N.C. State University’s Center for Marine Sciences and Technology on the CCC campus and UNC-Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences and N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries to the east. The federation helped install a living shoreline in front of the CMAST building nearly 10 years ago.
“In designing the shoreline, we looked to the CMAST shoreline that has a decade-old living shoreline. It performed significantly well through Hurricane Florence and other numerous hurricanes, and prevented erosion from threatening the buildings,” said Lexia Weaver, coastal scientist and central regional manager at the N.C. Coastal Federation. “The proposed living shoreline at Carteret Community College will consist of a series of granite sills with landward salt marsh grass plantings, similar construction methods that were effective along the CMAST shoreline.”
The design for the living shoreline is finalized, according to the press release. The college is currently undergoing the Coastal Area Management Act Major Development permitting process and hopes to receive the CAMA permit soon. The project is also being reviewed by the State Construction Office. When the State Construction Office approves the plans, the college will send the project out for bid. Currently, the plan is to have the project complete by the fall.
Contact Cheryl Burke at 252-726-7081, ext. 255; email Cheryl@thenewstimes.com; or follow on Twitter @cherylccnt.