Living Shoreline Takes Shape along Moor Shore Road

Planting marsh grass at the Moor Shore Road living shoreline.

Living shorelines are becoming the new wave of shoreline protection. On the Outer Banks we’re seeing more and more of them being put into place.

They are not as quick, easy or cheap to install as a bulkhead, but they have some significant advantages over hardened structures. Mostly, they don’t wear out.

More than they don’t wear out, they actually restore and renew the nearshore environment of sounds and estuaries.

They are also very effective. Over time, much more effective than a bulkhead.

One of the largest living shoreline projects on the Outer Banks is on Moor Shore Road in Kitty Hawk. The project began late last year in November when sills were put into place about 60’ from the shore.

Funded with grants obtained by the North Carolina Coastal Federation, the project is now wrapping up with a few hundred volunteers planing marsh grass. 

It’s somewhat tedious work. Small plugs of grass—in this case juncus—are put into the ground, either just under water in the shallows or along the beach where it’s wet.

The plugs look a lot like plant starts, which is what they are. If there are no extremely high winds over the next few weeks, the grass will be well on its way to being a permanent part of the environment.

The sills, which look solid from the shoreline, actually have slits in them to allow wave energy to be dissipated. What the marsh grass will do is further dissipate that wave energy so that waves do not overwash the shoreline and Moor Shore Road.

The marsh grass is also a favored habitat of a number of breeding fish and will help to maintain healthy levels of seafood.

There is always something interesting happening on the Outer Banks. Stay a week or two with Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates and discover the world of life on a sandbar.

Outer Banks Trashion Show-Fun & a Good Cause

Note the new date on the Trashion Show. High winds and threat of rain forced postponement.
Note the new date on the Trashion Show. High winds and threat of rain forced postponement.

A Trashion Show, now there’s a different idea—and that is what the First Annual Outer Banks Trashion Show at the Outer Banks Brewing Station coming up tomorrow, Friday all be.

It’s a pretty simple concept—teams get together, go to the beach and gather up as much trash as they can find. Take that trash and make a fashion statement. 

And then, of course, someone has to walk the runway and be judged.

This should be a very interesting event. 

At last count there were eight teams vying for the Outer Banks Trashion crown, but there may have been another one or two added that we’re not aware of.

We have not seen any printed criteria for the judges to follow, but our understanding is judges will be awarding points for creativity, how different the look is and how much quantity of trash collected.

Cleaning up our Outer Banks beaches is always a priority, but the Trashion Show has got to be the most original idea we’ve heard.

Adding icing to the cake and taking the whole thing to another level—all proceeds will be donated to the North Carolina Coastal Federation.

The NCCF is one of the most successful groups working to improve the coastal environment. They have been around for over 20 years and during that time have created a remarkable legacy of working with fishermen, environmental groups, and local politicians.

That’s a pretty good combination…a lot of fun, beach cleanup and a donation to a very good cause.

The fun begins at 5:00 p.m.

So much to do on the Outer Banks and the perfect home is just a click away. Check out our Joe Lamb, Jr. & Associates listings for that ideal getaway.

Kitty Hawk Looks to Restore Soundside Shoreline

Overwash from a March storm made Moor Shore Road impassable.
Overwash from a March storm made Moor Shore Road impassable.

Last month a storm blew into the Outer Banks from the west. As Outer Banks storms go, it wasn’t particularly memorable.

The wind blew hard from the west; there was about a half inch of rain and temperatures hovered around 50 degrees.

What the storm did do, though, what push water into Kitty Hawk Bay—that’s what west winds do— and that water overwashed Moor Shore Road, a low-lying street along the water.

Kitty Hawk Bay Overwash

The overwash has become increasingly common.

In a presentation to the Kitty Hawk Town Council earlier this month, Michelle Clower, Coastal Specialist with the North Carolina Coastal Federation noted that NOAA observations indicate the shoreline in along Moor Shore Road is eroding at 1’ per year.

At the presentation, Clower discussed two plans for shoreline restoration.

The simplest plan would restore approximately 400’ of shoreline. The complete plan would encompass 866’ and would restore and protect the shoreline along the entire length of Moor Shore Road from the bridge at the north end of the problem area to the multi-use path on the south end.

Project Details

One of the reasons the Coastal Federation felt the Moor Shore project was particularly important are the many uses of the road.

Although a secondary road that sees little traffic, it is an important part of the bike trails that link Kitty Hawk and Kill Devil Hills as well as being part of the Outer Banks Marathon route. This weekend, it will be part of the Flying Pirate Half Marathon.

The smaller project has a cost of $70,000. The larger project would cost the town about $145,000.

Kitty Hawk Mayor Garry Perry, speaking for the Town Council, felt the larger project was the better choice, noting the longterm cost would be considerably less because of the greater protection it offered.

Perry indicated the Council would examine the issue in its budget workshop in May and see if the moneys could be found in the upcoming budget.

A Perfect OBX Day of Oystoberfest


It would be hard to imagine a more perfect day for the inaugural Outer Banks Oystoberfest on Saturday. The weather was perfect, the beer wonderful and the oysters sublime.

A part of the Outer Banks Restaurant Association’s annual fall Restaurant Week, the festival did everything right to make the day special. Held at Southern Shores Crossing in Southern Shores, there was lots of oysters and plenty of beer.

With eight microbreweries on hand, each pouring two beers, there was no possibility the beer would run out. And beer truly seems to be the perfect beverage to pair with oysters.

What made the day really special, though, were the small oyster producers that were on hand with their oysters…fresh oysters, really fresh oysters.

It is remarkable how the flavor changes in the these mollusks depending on where they were raised.

Chadwick Creek is located way down in southern Pamlico Sound on the mainland side. The waters there are as close to fresh as can be. The oysters they brought were wonderfully mild, almost buttery with just the slightest hint of salt.

Two hundred or 225 miles or so to the north, Ruby Salts oysters are raised in the waters of the southern Chesapeake Bay with a lot more salt in the water. Their oysters have a briny snap to them that is almost surprising.

There were three other oyster farms on hand, with featuring flavors in between those extremes.

A number of local restaurant were also on hand, serving up oyster dishes whipped up just for the day.

Dan Lewis, owner of Coastal Provision and president of the Outer Banks Restaurant Association mentioned that proceeds from the day would be contributed to the North Carolina Coastal Federation so they could continue their work rebuilding oyster habitat.

Featured Oystoberfest Exhibiters

Oyster Farmers:

Cape Hatteras (OBX)

Devil Shoal (OBX)

Chadwick Creek (NC)

Ruby Salts (VA)

Rappahannock (VA)

Exhibiting Restaurants:

Coastal Provisions Oyster Bar & Wine Bar Cafe

Mulligan’s Raw Bar & Grille

Steamer’s Restaurant

BK Shuckers Sports, Oyster Bar & Grill

Chilli Peppers Coastal Grill

Two Roads Tavern

Lucky 12 Tavern

Aqua Restaurant

Exhibiting Breweries:

Double Barley Brewing (Smithfield, NC)

High-Wire Brewing (Asheville, NC)

New Belgium Brewing (Asheville, NC)

The Weeping Radish Brewery (Jarvisburg, NC)

Foothills Brewing (Winston-Salem, NC)

Catawba Brewing Company (Morganton, NC)

Outer Banks Brewing Station (Kill Devil Hills, NC)

Full Moon Brewery (Manteo, NC)