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Camp Don Lee Installs Living Shoreline
With Help from the North Carolina Coastal Federation
June 30, 2022

horeline stabilization is a method that private property owners and businesses are utilizing to protect their eroding properties. Recently Camp Don Lee installed a living shoreline on their Neuse River property.

Living shorelines are structures composed of recycled oyster shells or other materials and native plants that run parallel to the shoreline protecting it from erosion caused by wave energy, sea-level rise, flooding, and storms. These shorelines promote the growth of oysters and provide habitat for hundreds of species of things like crabs, shrimp, and fish and also provide a great home for oyster spat to attach to and grow where they’ll also begin to clean the waters around them.

In Pamlico County, Camp Don Lee has been working to complete their living shoreline since the first section was installed in May. The entire living shoreline is 150 feet long, of that, 62 feet are made up of a QuickReef sill. QuickReef was created and designed by a North Carolina company, Restoration Systems, and is made up of calcium carbonate and other materials that are cemented together. 

This summer the camp partnered with the North Carolina Coastal Federation and Restoration Systems to complete their shoreline. They even got their summer campers involved.

Camp Director Kate Metts said this was an invaluable opportunity for her campers to participate in building this structure.

“We are excited to have been chosen to receive a partial grant from the Coastal Federation for the installation of Living Shoreline on the west side of our property. Teaching creation care to our campers is a priority and the opportunity for some of our oldest campers, Mariner 1, to participate hands-on in the installation in service to camp is a great blessing and leadership opportunity,” said Metts.

These campers showed no hesitation and jumped in to help install the bagged oyster shell sill. With the help of Coastal Specialist Sarah Bodin and Coastal Education Coordinator Rachel Bisesi, the group not only stacked the bags in the water but also had the chance to learn about living shorelines and what they do to prevent erosion.

“We are honored to partner with Camp Don Lee on their living shoreline. Their Mariner campers were so fun to work with and did such a great job working together to build the oyster reef. I look forward to seeing how the project helps to prevent erosion and provide habitat, while also being a living classroom for students and visitors at Camp,” explained Bisesi.

Camp Don Lee

The work on the living shoreline will continue with another group of summer campers in July where they will finish out the remaining section of the living shoreline. In total, the two groups of campers will install 88 feet of oyster shell bags, made up of 1,056 bags.

The project was partially funded by the North Carolina Land and Water Fund cost-share program for living shorelines.

Story & video by Stacia Strong, North Carolina Coastal Federation

Posted Thursday June 30, 2022 by Allison DeWeese

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