MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) — One organization along the Crystal Coast is sharing its efforts in Morehead City with state and local leaders.

Along the water, the North Carolina Coastal Federation has been hard at work with restoration projects and was able to showcase them to the North Carolina Environmental Management Commission.

“The EMC is a policy board. So we make policy, the EMC does, but they don’t actually get to get out and see what that policy does and how it impacts the environment directly,” said Richard Rogers, director for the Division of Water Resources in the Department of Environmental Quality.

The idea was to take those individuals out to see the progress, making stops at different islands to discuss projects that are in the works or completed to improve water quality and protect the shorelines.

“We talked about the Newport River Watershed plan. We talked about some of the resiliency plans in Beaufort, we talked to you about the students doing research on Phillips Island, the wave attenuation device, in Sugarloaf,” said Eliza Wilczek, Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Campaign coordinator for the NC Coastal Federation.

Some of the leading water quality researchers in the state also came along for the tour to speak about how their work is being implemented. One researcher has been working on studies to address concerns with the Newport River and Estuary.

“We’re trying to understand where fecal contamination tends to be highest, so that the coastal Federation can start to target restoration and conservation projects in those areas. So instead of going out every once in a while to collect the sample, trying to collect samples at multiple time points in a short time period” said Natalie Nelson, associate professor in Biological and Agricultural Engineering at NC State University.

They all say they will work together to make decisions to improve the water quality, aquatic life and their habitats.

“It was a great opportunity to see firsthand what the water quality issues are, that are facing us in coastal North Carolina. And it was first time for many of these folks to actually get out into the estuaries and see some of these habitats firsthand,” said Todd Miller, executive director of the North Carolina Coastal Federation.

Officials with the North Carolina Coastal Federation also spoke on the different strategies within their salt marsh plans to help prevent sea level rise in the future.