ORIENTAL, N.C. (WNCT) — Students from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill paired with the Coastal Federation to help build a living shoreline at Whitaker Point in Pamlico County, where 15 acres of the peninsula are eroded.

The Coastal Federation’s education coordinator, Rachel Bisesi, said a living shoreline is a way to diffuse water to prevent erosion and storm damage.

“We have an offshore rock seal, which acts a little speed bump, and beyond that rock seal, there are thousands and thousands of planted grasses which help to hold the soil when waves come up,” Bisesi said.

The next component is recycled oyster shells, where baby oysters will grow, creating a way to filter flood waters.

Dr. Rachel Noble, a professor of Marine Biology at UNC Chapel Hill, brought 18 students out to help with the project on Monday.

“So these are Carolina students that are mostly juniors and seniors, we have a few sophmores and they come down to the coast for the entire semester,” said Noble.

Undergraduate Mansi Sakarvadia said it was eye-opening to apply classroom knowledge to a real world experience.

“So today, we started by carrying a bunch of equipment down the coastline here and we came upon a pile of oyster shells, so we are working on bagging up those oyster shells so that other volunteers can use those shells to create an oyster reef,” said Sakarvadia.

The Coastal Federation wants to encourage other towns and property owners to consider living shorelines rather than typical breakwaters.