Kitty Hawk, NC – October 25, 2011 – (RealEstateRama) — About a month ago, the Town of Manteo provided a dump truck load of fossil/spent oyster shells to Marshes Light. This past Saturday (October 15) a group of volunteers bagged the shells for placement along the marsh to help stabilize an eroding expanse of coastal marsh – one of the last of its kind in Town limits. The bagged shells will be used much like rip rap or wood and vinyl bulkheads; however, this method utilizes natural materials.
The volunteer effort was part of an overall project aimed at creating a “living shoreline” to protect a Juncus marsh that is part of the Marshes Light Development in downtown historic Manteo. The “living shoreline” stabilization will allow the marsh to regenerate along its eroding fringe and return valuable oyster shells to our waters. These shells will also provide a great home to numerous marine creatures.
Thriving coastal marshes are vital to the overall health of our estuary, effectively filtering nutrients, fine sediments and toxins from overland runoff. These critical habitats also support fisheries and protected resources by improving water quality and buffering shorelines.
It was an interesting process and hard, dirty work. We used UV resistant netting material (used and recommended in the aquaculture industry) which was stretched over a piece of PVC pipe that was about 36” long and 8” in diameter. Wearing thick gloves, we placed the shells into the pipe with bag stretched and when full, the pipe was pulled out of the bag and the bag tied. Each bag was estimated to weigh about 30-35 pounds!
Once the necessary permits are in place, the next step will be to load the bags onto a barge and haul them over to the marsh. The Town also plans to install native marsh plants along the landward side of the stabilized shoreline next spring.
This project is an on-going and volunteer collaborative effort between Marshes Light new home community, the Town of Manteo, Quible & Associates, P.C., and our many friends! Check back in early next spring for information about volunteering for more projects along the Manteo waterfront.