The Edenhouse Boat Ramp site involved the removal of a failing bulkhead along the Chowan River and restoration of the naturally vegetated shoreline and riparian zone at the Edenhouse Boat Ramp site. The project included stabilization of the shoreline with a constructed stone sill and restoration of coastal marsh fringe grading into a restored riparian forested buffer zone. This project is part of a larger restoration project being undertaken by NC Wildlife Resources Commission at the ramp area, which will include future phases involving filling of an artificial lagoon and restoration to swamp forested wetlands.
In addition to the demonstration value, the site has unique habitat values. Coastal marsh is prime habitat for fish-rearing, supporting numerous recreational and commercially valuable species. Generally 65% of all recreational species and 90% of commercial species depend on coastal estuarine habitat at some stage of their life cycles. These projects will restore and protect coastal marsh habitat - home for a variety of fish, shellfish, birds and other marine life. A special aspect about this this, was that it provided sufficient protection from wave energy to allow for the successful establishment of a significant local SAV, wild celery. Although wild celery has been found in other sheltered areas of the Albemarle/Pamlico Sounds, the presence of this species in this location is credited entirely to the protection provided by the restoration project.
A number of challenges existed at this site. It had a high wave energy, which required a great deal of structural planning and construction sequencing to ensure that it would be protective enough. Additionally, the Edenhouse site required the establishment of freshwater coastal marsh plants, which are notably more difficult to settle than tidal saltwater species. Since the initial planting in Summer 2004, the site has required two additional plantings, once following Hurricane Charley in October 2004, and again in August 2005. It is expected that successful establishment of completely vegetated shoreline may take 2-3 years in freshwater, higher settings such as the Edenhouse site.
Removal of 400 feet of degrading bulkhead and re-grading of shoreline on the Chowan River. A suitable slope was established and over 6,000 coastal marsh and riparian buffer species were planted to create 0.6 acres of restored habitat.
Funding agencies and partners for this project include NCCF, NOAA, Restore America's Estuaries, and RCDB Funding Mechanism.
NOAA SeaGrant: $32,663
Total Project Cost: $82,118