Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Battleship breaks ground on $4.5M project to mitigate flooding

Battleship North Carolina is undergoing construction utilizing ecological solutions to combat flooding. (Courtesy photo)

WILMINGTON — A project broke ground Monday to help alleviate flooding at a popular downtown attraction.

READ MORE: Nearly 1K flooding events in 10 years spark needed improvements at Battleship NC

The Battleship North Carolina is set to begin construction on Living with Water. The $4.5-million project comes as the battleship, particularly its parking lot, has experienced roughly 1,000 flooding events in the last decade. Tides rise in the area up to 4 or 5 feet, though the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has measured some 5-1/2 feet or higher.

The plan is to build up the wetlands and the parking lot with ecological solutions, including a living shoreline and bioswale — a channel designed to direct water runoff. This will restore the natural habitat for marine life, and the inclusion of native trees, shrubs, and marsh plants will help migratory birds.

Once complete, the erosion from tidal waves are expected to lessen.

The flooding — which increased in the area by 6,200% since the 1940s — has hit the Battleship’s bottom line, leading to decreased visitation, according to officials.

“So, if our road is flooded or our parking lot is flooded, then it causes people to be uncertain about driving through the water,” Battleship NC development director Terry DeMeo told PCD last year. “So, really, the coastal flooding was affecting our business model and our livelihood.”

The construction of the parking lot — to be elevated 3 feet — will come with less spots, from 500 to 350. However, the project focuses on removing spaces that often go unused, according to officials. The absence of impervious service will become a wetland to capture tidal waters.

The goal for project completion is by early fall. Staff will then begin to monitor the tides for effectiveness of the installed elements.

Living with Water is fully funded through four grants — North Carolina Land and Water Grant, National Fish Wildlife Foundation, Kerr McGee Superfund Site settlement, and Fish and Wildlife Service — as well as a $1 million state appropriation for the non-nature-based construction.

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Shea Carver
Shea Carver
Shea Carver is the editor in chief at Port City Daily. A UNCW alumna, Shea worked in the print media business in Wilmington for 22 years before joining the PCD team in October 2020. She specializes in arts coverage — music, film, literature, theatre — the dining scene, and can often be tapped on where to go, what to do and who to see in Wilmington. When she isn’t hanging with her pup, Shadow Wolf, tending the garden or spinning vinyl, she’s attending concerts and live theater.

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