New living shorelines grant to help residents up and down the coast

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BROAD CREEK, N.C (WNCT) – A new grant program looks to help property owners make the switch from bulkheads to more natural and more effective living shorelines.

“We’re concerned about the shoreline and it’s movement back toward our home,” says Kurt Wargin, who lives in Broad Creek. “And we know that unchecked, it could be a very unpleasant situation, especially when the storms come.”

The Wargins have lived in their Broad Creek home on the banks of the Bogue Sound for 25 years. They’ve seen firsthand how the shoreline has changed over the years.

“We’ve seen almost a 10 to 12-foot change in where the grass line which you see behind us has moved in towards us,” said Wargin.

A new grant program could be the solution they’ve been looking for. NOAA’s Coastal Ecosystem Resiliency Grants Program recently awarded a $500,000 grant to the North Carolina Coastal Federation. The group plans to use the funds to build living shorelines up and down our coast.

“A living shoreline is a more natural alternative to seawalls and bulkheads,” said Lexia Weaver, a coastal scientist with the North Carolina Coastal Federation. “It basically preserves the natural function of estuarine shorelines when compared to bulkheads or seawalls.”

And they’re more effective in dissipating wave energy that can erode the shoreline. The Federation hopes to use part of the grant to fund 10 to 20 living shoreline projects for private property owners. They expect to award projects based on need later this year.

The North Carolina Coastal Federation will be accepting applications through September 2, 2016.

Click here for more details on how to apply.

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