Impacts of Shoreline Management Strategies in North Carolina

Quantifying the Geomorphic, Ecological, and Socioeconomic Impacts of Shoreline Management Strategies: A Multi-Disciplinary Approach

North Carolina’s estuarine habitats provide a wide range of benefits from being nursery habitats to filtering water pollution, but are increasingly threatened by natural and human pressures. One of the greatest challenges for managing the coast is that drivers of habitat loss happen at different scales. For example, changes can be caused by short-term events, like hurricanes, or long-term from every day waves. A suite of options exist to manage erosion, such as hard bulkheads and nature-based living shorelines, but research comparing the various options and their broader impacts is limited. This study seeks to better understand how people and habitats are impacted based on the shoreline management project near them. This study combines science from multiple disciplines, through geospatial, emerging low-cost remote sensing and aerial mapping technologies, waterfront homeowner surveys, and citizen science. This study hopes to understand:

  1. Long-term patterns of shoreline and coastal habitat change;
  2. Identify socio-ecological mechanisms responsible for shoreline and habitat changes;
  3. Test citizen science-based approaches for future shoreline monitoring.

Resilience of North Carolina estuarine ecosystems is dependent upon coastal management decisions made now. The results of this study will directly inform future coastal management, serve as a mechanism to educate homeowners on shoreline conservation and management strategies, and enable the development of long-term, cost-effective shoreline monitoring procedures that can be scaled up to state or region levels.

Project Team

Lead PI: Dr. Devon Eulie (UNCW)

Co-PI: Dr. Rachel Gittman (ECU) Co-PI: Dr. Charles Peterson (UNC-CH)

Dr. Carter Smith (Duke) Mariko Polk, PhD Student (UNCW)

This study is being conducted by researchers or funding from:

Help us by taking our Online Survey

Researchers from East Carolina University and University of North Carolina Wilmington have collaborated to develop an online survey related to people's experiences during Hurricane Florence and their experiences living on the coast in North Carolina. The results of this study will directly inform future coastal management, serve as a mechanism to educate homeowners on shoreline conservation and management strategies, and enable the development of long-term, cost-effective shoreline monitoring procedures that can be scaled up to state or region levels.

There are a number of ways to access the survey. One way is by scanning the QR code by using your smart phone’s camera or by using the following link:

Help us by becoming a Citizen Scientist!

We are looking for volunteers who are interested in assisting with collecting important information about North Carolina shorelines!

If you are interested in participating, please fill out this form (click here or see the form to the right) to receive more information. You will be trained to take photos and record basic information about shorelines (either your shoreline or a public shoreline). We anticipate training to happen in August and take no more than a few hours. Participating in the citizen science program will require no more than an hour per month for up to a year. You will not be asked to purchase or acquire any equipment.



Your name, email, and mailing address or any other personal identifying information you provide will be kept confidential, will be encrypted, and stored securely by our project team. Your personal identifying information will not be made public and will not be included in any publications or reports produced from this study.
You can choose to stop participating in the program at any time. There are no direct benefits for your participation. If you have any questions about your rights in this research, you may contact the ECU Office of Research Integrity & Compliance anonymously or collect at 252-744-2914.


You can also email us at nc-citizen-science@googlegroups.com if you are interested in participating.


Updates

The Team has had a very busy few months preparing to send out our NC Coastal Survey! If you live in one of the 20 coastal counties in North Carolina, we are interested in your experiences during Hurricane Florence. We are also interested in the experiences of waterfront homeowners in North Carolina.

Additionally, we are initiating a new research study to better understand the natural and human processes that affect coastal habitats and shorelines in North Carolina and we are seeking North Carolina coastal residents who would be willing and interested in participating in a citizen science shoreline monitoring program using pictures you take with your phone! A citizen scientist is a volunteer who collects and/or processes data to help further science.

Check out these great shots of our graduate students hard at work monitoring shoreline position!

SEERS Sea Grant Poster KB.pdf