Surf City creating living shoreline of oyster reefs to reduce sound and side erosion

Living Shoreline Image 2
(Photo: Town of Surf City)

SURF CITY, NC (WWAY) — The Town of Surf City has partnered with the Sandbar Oyster Company and the North Carolina Coastal Federation to create a living shoreline to reduce sound and side erosion and maintain valuable fisheries habitat.

The project will be implemented along a 200-foot stretch of shoreline at Soundside Park located on Roland Avenue in Surf City.

Living shorelines use nature-based features, including oyster reefs and saltmarsh plants, to protect shorelines from degradation and erosion, and offer long-term resilience in the face of rising sea levels.

“The Surf City Living Shoreline Project is a great collaboration between our company (Sandbar Oyster Company) the North Carolina Coastal Federation, and the Town of Surf City,” Neils Lindquist said. “Our innovative “Oyster Catcher™” design provides excellent stabilization for eroding shorelines, and a unique structure to maximize oyster attachment. In turn, the restored oyster reef creates habitat for many estuarine and aquatic animals who need these areas to survive.”

The planned living shoreline for Soundside Park will consist of an oyster reef sill created using two different shapes of SANDBAR’s patented/patent-pending biodegradable hardscape called Oyster Catcher™. Within 1-2 years of installation, oyster growth will fill in the void space of the scaffold with tightly fused and intermingled shells of the growing oysters, resulting in an exceptionally dense and resilient oyster reef.

The “’Pillow” form of the biodegraded hardscape is positioned under the shoreward row of tables to act as a wave break and for sediment retention/accumulation.

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