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North Carolina Sea Grant Advances Shoreline Protection and Coastal Resilience

For immediate release

Contact: Frank López, extension director,

NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program and the U.S. Coastal Research Program (USCRP) are backing new work to protect North Carolina’s shorelines. A North Carolina Sea Grant collaboration with East Carolina University and Carteret Community College will develop a framework for coastal protection design and siting, as well as living shoreline training courses and a certification program.

Frank López, extension director for North Carolina Sea Grant and one of the project leads, says the team will survey community members to capture their views on different options for coastal adaptation. At ECU’s Coastal Studies Institute, Rachel Gittman will build on her previous research for USCRP on living shorelines.

“New data will help enhance the effectiveness of different substrates and designs for living shorelines,” López explains. “The team will develop strategies that will help shoreline property owners, permit issuing agencies, and contractors.”

López says the collaboration will inform improvements in coastal protection training and outreach programs, including an expanded pilot course that covers advanced design tracks for waterfront property owners, as well as a design certification program through Carteret Community College.

“This project will help keep our state at the forefront of coastal resilience planning and adaptation,” says Susan White, executive director of North Carolina Sea Grant.

The collaboration is one of ten to receive support through the NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program’s work with the USCRP to enhance resilience in coastal communities.

“Through this partnership with the U.S. Coastal Research Program, Sea Grant is able to effectively leverage its nationwide network to help coastal and Great Lakes communities tackle some of the most pressing issues that they face now and in the future,” says Jonathan Pennock, director of NOAA’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Programs across the nation also are receiving additional NOAA Sea Grant support to increase local capacity, engagement, research, and implementation to address resilience challenges. As a result, North Carolina Sea Grant will continue its Coastal Resilience Team Competition fellowships.

These fellowships will provide up to $20,000 for one or more student teams to conduct two-year projects that will lead to more resilient habitats and communities. Each team will include two to four members, including at least one graduate student who will serve as the project lead, and at least one undergraduate.

The second annual Coastal Resilience Team Competition will begin accepting proposals on February 1. Check back here.

more about new projects through the National Sea Grant College Program’s collaboration with the USCRP