Volunteers needed to monitor shoreline changes in Oak Island

(Photo: North Carolina Coastal Federation)

BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (Press Release) — The North Carolina Coastal Federation is hosting a living shoreline reef and marsh monitoring event this month. Participants will help assess the progress of living shorelines and oyster reefs.

The monitoring will take place at Waterway Park in Oak Island on Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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This assessment does not require any special skills — everything participants need to know about reef monitoring will be taught on site.

Salt marsh and reef restoration projects provide habitat, decrease erosion and improve water quality.

“Monitoring events are critical to our evaluation of the restoration projects, they identify any needed adaptations and enable us to report the findings to the project funders and regulatory agencies,” said Ted Wilgis, education coordinator for the federation’s Wrightsville Beach office. “We couldn’t get all of this done without our volunteers.”

Volunteers will help record the types and amount of vegetation growing in the restored areas, as well as use survey equipment to measure shoreline changes.

Oyster reefs are also an important part of salt marsh restoration and the federation and partners have installed several hundred feet of oyster reefs at these locations. To monitor the reefs, volunteers will get to open up shell bags and measure and count the number of oysters, as well as identify other organisms.

The federation requests that all participants wear closed-toe shoes and boots will be provided for those who do not have them. It also recommends that participants bring sunscreen, a hat, a reusable water bottle and wear clothes that can get muddy. Snacks and lunch will be provided.

To register or to find more information, visit nccoast.org/events or contact Jessica Gray at 910-509-2838 or jessicag@nccoast.org.