NCDA&CS helps fund Oriental shoreline restoration project to repair previous hurricane damage

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Department funding helps save N.C. town’s economy – NCAGR

ORIENTAL, N.C. (WNCT) The N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services has partnered with the Town of Oriental, providing nearly $500,000 in funding for the $2 million project.

The Whittaker Pointe Shoreline Restoration Project is rebuilding a natural peninsula between the Neuse River and Whittaker Creek.

The peninsula provides protection to 288 residential and business properties, including five marinas and two boatyards, according to town manager Diane Miller. 

However, after hurricanes Matthew and Florence, the landmass had eroded from about 18 acres down to six acres, leaving those properties vulnerable.

Now the natural peninsula will be restored and fortified to maintain that protection.

The erosion also contributed to more sludge and dirt in the creek channel, causing concerns about boats being able to access waterfront homes, marinas, boatyards, and associated businesses, which are all critical to the local economy.

NCDA&CS partnered with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), an agency of the U.S. Department of Agriculture to fund a significant portion of the project.

Specifically, an NRCS program called Emergency Watershed Protection used federal dollars to pay 75 percent of the project’s construction costs.

NCDA&CS’s Soil and Water Conservation Division coordinated to pay the remaining 25 percent of the grant to Oriental.

Miller said the town would have never been able to pay the 25 percent match, much less the cost of the entire project.

The town is getting a $2 million project and only paid about $5,000 for the initial engineering survey, plus legal fees to transfer the land.

As of mid-July, the project was about 60 percent complete.

Isaias did not cause additional damage or delay the project.

More details can be found in the Department’s blog at ncagr.gov/blog.

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