Sunday, July 14, 2024

Special series looks at the area’s ‘hardening’ shoreline

Every year, North Carolina loses approximately 20 miles of shoreline to vertical wall hardening. The installation of bulkheads to control erosion can have a harsh effect on the biological diversity of surrounding wetlands

Author’s note: In May 2018, Port City Daily covered southeastern North Carolina’s “hardening shoreline.”

With the estuarine shoreline losing out to vertical wall hardening via erosion-control methods like bulkhead and riprap, we looked into where and why this process is happening.

We found that 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.

Click on the buttons below to read the series:

Johanna Ferebee can be reached at or @j__ferebee on Twitter

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