In 1999, the largest coastal restoration project in NC began with funding from the State’s Clean Water Management Program to purchase nearly 2000 acres of farm land in Carteret County for the purpose of restoring wetlands that were drained to become North River Farms. After 11 phases of restoration over 20 years, the State’s largest coastal restoration project is entering a new phase where we get to monitor and maintain what’s been done.
The N.C. Coastal Federation has overseen the work to return farmland back to forested, freshwater and tidal wetlands and the project has expanded to 6000 acres. With the restoration activities wrapping up, the Federation envisions being able to provide tours to showcase this re-imagined landscape.
Benefits of the project include increased habitat to support species diversity, improved water quality, groundwater recharge, and supporting shellfish populations and increased opportunities for shellfishing. As one of the premier restoration projects in the country, a visit to the site would be worthwhile.