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Oyster Pier for Onslow County

By Catherine M. Welch

Wilmington, NC – The North Carolina Coastal Federation received $400,000 to build an oyster shell, loading pier in Onslow County.

The pier will allow the Department of Marine Fisheries to load piles of oyster shells onto barges to make reefs out of the oyster shells. Coastal Federation Biologist Ted Wilgis says it's getting more difficult to find places along the coast to store and transport oyster shells.

"This will be the only permanent self stockpile site between Brunswick County and Carteret County, so this is a critical piece of the oyster restoration activities in North Carolina. (:11)

Wilgis says the pier will be open to the public when not being used for oyster restoration.

Funds for the pier were part of an agreement by Smithfield Foods to hand out some $50-million in environmental grants.