North Carolina Coastal Federation works on preservation projects

Salt marsh preservation in Eastern Carolina
Published: Aug. 19, 2022 at 8:36 PM EDT
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MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WITN) - The North Carolina Coastal Federation has worked with several state and community partners on $20 million in salt marsh preservation and living shoreline projects.

Officials say $2.5 billion from the Inflation Reduction Act will go into projects over the next five years across the U.S., including on Sugarloaf Island, off the Morehead City waterfront.

Experts explained that these marshes serve several benefits, including nurseries for oysters and fish species, and storm buffers for the coastline.

They say marine fisheries rely heavily on marshes and add that without them and several miles of living shorelines and man-made oyster reefs, the erosion and sea level rise will likely prove costly for coastal communities.

“[The] Coastal Federation has a bumper sticker, no wetlands, no seafood, no salt marshes, we don’t have any seafood,” Todd Miller North Carolina Coastal Federation executive director said. “If we want to continue to have a place that’s good to live in terms of safety, as well as being able to catch fish, and work and play along our coast, marshes are an essential part of that equation.”

The federation says more than $1 million in recent funding has also gone to man-made oyster reefs throughout the Pamlico Sound, which provide habitats for up to 300 species of fish and invertebrates.

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