Mid-Atlantic
(Photo provided by the Town of Morehead City)

NC - Work underway to keep eastern North Carolina island from "washing away"

Officials said Sugarloaf Island is a vital destination for many local people, tourists, and wildlife but right now the seaward shoreline of the Island is eroding, leaving uprooted trees and vegetation behind. In addition, wave exposure and swift currents are eroding the shoreline, sweeping nutrient-rich sediment into the water column, degrading water quality, and filling in navigational channels.

MOREHEAD CITY, Carteret County — The Town of Morehead City is working with two aquatic restoration groups to protect Sugarloaf Island from continued shoreline erosion.

One of the methods being considered would use offshore wave attenuation devices – hollow concrete structures meant to flatten larger waves before they hit the shore – in combination with seagrass plantings to stabilize the sediment and create essential fish habitat and a living shoreline to build salt marsh and upland vegetation.

The $2 million project is being funded by the NC state legislature and construction is expected to begin later this year.

Todd Miller, Executive Director of the North Carolina Coastal Federation, said the project presents a good opportunity to protect and restore Sugarloaf Island so that it continues to provide important recreation, fish habitat, and storm protection values.

Officials said Sugarloaf Island is a vital destination for many local people, tourists, and wildlife but right now the seaward shoreline of the Island is eroding, leaving uprooted trees and vegetation behind. In addition, wave exposure and swift currents are eroding the shoreline, sweeping nutrient-rich sediment into the water column, degrading water quality, and filling in navigational channels.

Morehead City Mayor Jerry Jones said protecting and restoring the island has been a priority for the City for years and now, thanks to the State Legislature, they finally have the funding to make it happen.

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