Atlantic Harbor Project
Atlantic, NC | Wave Attenuation
The Atlantic Harbor project, a living shoreline wave attenuation system, was installed to help mitigate coastal erosion as part of the Carteret County’s and the North Carolina Coastal Federation’s Atlantic Harbor maintenance dredging and living shoreline project.
The Atlantic Reefmaker system was installed into the rock sill along 1,720 linear feet of shoreline on the seaward side of White Point, in Core Sound, just offshore from Atlantic Harbor. The resulting living shoreline helps limit wave propagation and erosion landward through low-profile openings. The openings allow fish to pass through the rock sill, which, along with planted vegetation, provides habitat for non-sessile life, such as fish, and a surface for oysters and other sessile life to attach.
The Atlantic Reefmaker system allows for the implementation of a wave attenuating system without requiring the excessive footprint necessary for a rock sill on the seaward side of the structure. The system was selected because it can accommodate the horizontal limitations of installation in deeper waters without significantly impacting the benthic habitat within the nearshore area and reducing the overall footprint of the shoreline structure while still providing the necessary protection. Six sections of ReefMaker technology, with a length of 25 feet each, were placed along the outer shoreline of White Point in 4 feet of water. Each unit in these sections consists of six individual concrete disks stacked on a 12” diameter composite fiberglass pile.
The Atlantic Harbor project was funded primarily from a $1.1 million grant the North Carolina Coastal Federation obtained in 2018 from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and Carteret County, North Carolina to build living shorelines. The Coastal Federation has promoted and built living shorelines for years as a cost-efficient and environmentally friendly alternative to bulkheads, jetties, and other hard structures to prevent shoreline erosion and channel shoaling.