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Tribal advocates keep up legal pressure for fair political maps; 12-member jury sworn in for Trump's historic criminal trial; the importance of healthcare decision planning; and a debt dilemma: poll shows how many people wrestle with college costs.

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Civil rights activists say a court ruling could end the right to protest in three southern states, a federal judge lets January 6th lawsuits proceed against former President Trump, and police arrest dozens at a Columbia University Gaza protest.

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Rural Wyoming needs more vocational teachers to sustain its workforce pipeline, Ohio environmental advocates fear harm from a proposal to open 40-thousand forest acres to fracking and rural communities build bike trail systems to promote nature, boost the economy.

Oysters Could Help Protect NC from Hurricane Season

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Monday, July 16, 2018   

WANCHESE, N.C. – North Carolina's coastal residents are breathing a sigh of relief after Hurricane Chris took a turn away from the Atlantic Coast – but there undoubtedly will be additional threats from extreme weather and sea-level rise this season.

The answer to those problems could lie with a favorite delicacy – the oyster.

The University of North Carolina Coastal Studies Institute is joining The Nature Conservancy to install a shoreline oyster reef on the Institute’s campus in Wanchese.

Reide Corbett, the Institute’s program head, says oyster reefs placed next to salt marshes could provide a natural barrier.

"Oysters and oyster beds today are actually being used a lot for shoreline protection, sort of a greener way of protecting shorelines because they can reduce the wave energy prior to it impacting the shoreline,” he explains. “And so, as you have increased waves, they can actually reduce the impact on the coast. "

When waves break over oyster reefs, they deposit sediment that reduces erosion.

The project in Wanchese will serve as a hands-on laboratory for students to study the possible solution, and a demonstration site for other communities to replicate the model.

Corbett adds that the oyster reefs provide a better alternative to man-made structures that often are looked at as solutions.

"Property owners, often when they have an eroding shoreline, a solution to that is often to put a vertical structure, a sea wall, or some sort of breakwater right along the shoreline itself,” he states. “When you do that, you lose sort of that critical interface between land and water."

In addition to reducing erosion, and protecting shoreline, oyster reefs also serve to filter the water and provide nutrients for other sea life.

A 2017 report from the Union of Concerned Scientists released last year predicts that 13 coastal communities in North Carolina will be more than 10 percent flooded at least 26 times per year by 2035.


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