Friday, April 19, 2024

Special Series: An in-depth look at the region’s ‘hardening’ shoreline (limited-time free read)

Editor’s note: In May 2018, Port City Daily covered southeastern North Carolina’s “hardening shoreline.” Wrightsville Beach’s shoreline is six times “harder” than the state’s average. Coastal property owners choose bulkheads to protect their properties from erosion because they have been widely installed by marine contractors for decades.

Throughout the three-part series, we examined what hardening means, how the state’s regulatory process makes protecting wetlands more difficult than living shoreline alternatives.

All the articles in this series are free to read from now through Dec. 31 as an example of the kind of investigative, in-depth reporting you can expect from Port City Daily.

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Hardening shoreline series

Every year, about 26 miles of shoreline is replaced with vertical wall construction, a process called “hardening.” This impacts ecosystems and increases erosion damage elsewhere.

What does it mean that our shoreline is ‘hardening?’ It’s not good

For those that try to take a less damaging approach to shoreline management, bureaucracy makes things more difficult.

3 days vs. 3 months? Regulatory structure makes it tougher to protect wetlands

A closer look at a variety of approaches to shoreline management that help preserve ecosystems and protect neighboring property.

A softer approach, living shorelines as an alternative to a hardened coast



Johanna Ferebee can be reached at or @j__ferebee on Twitter

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