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New $6.6 million initiative to restore NC's Sugarloaf Island is underway

Zac Thomas, with Sea & Shoreline, works to place wave attenuation devices into the water off of Morehead City, North Carolina on May 13, 2024.
Madeline Gray
/
for WUNC
Zac Thomas, with Sea & Shoreline, works to place wave attenuation devices into the water off of Morehead City, North Carolina on May 13, 2024.

If you summer on the coasts of North Carolina, you may be familiar with Morehead City, a popular port town in Carteret County. But slightly less well-known is the barrier island adjoining the town: Sugarloaf Island. The man-made stretch of land is just off the waterfront and for years has been a draw for tourism.

It’s also a layer of protection for the coastline. However, a substantial portion of Sugarloaf Island has eroded over the last few decades. The city hopes that a new restoration initiative will reverse the damage.

Recently installed wave attenuation devices ring Sugarloaf Island off the coast of Morehead City, North Carolina on May 13, 2024. Sugarloaf Island has long acted as a barrier for the Morehead City waterfront but over time it has begun to erode due partly to increased boat traffic. Now a major restoration project is underway to help protect and rebuild the island.
Madeline Gray
/
for WUNC
Recently installed wave attenuation devices ring Sugarloaf Island off the coast of Morehead City, North Carolina on May 13, 2024. Sugarloaf Island has long acted as a barrier for the Morehead City waterfront but over time it has begun to erode due partly to increased boat traffic. Now a major restoration project is underway to help protect and rebuild the island.

You can find WUNC reporter Celeste Gracia's reporting here. She also discusses her work in an episode of the WUNC podcast, The Broadside.

Guest

Celeste Gracia, WUNC environmental reporter

Leoneda Inge is the co-host of WUNC's "Due South." Leoneda has been a radio journalist for more than 30 years, spending most of her career at WUNC as the Race and Southern Culture reporter. Leoneda’s work includes stories of race, slavery, memory and monuments. She has won "Gracie" awards, an Alfred I. duPont Award and several awards from the Radio, Television, Digital News Association (RTDNA). In 2017, Leoneda was named "Journalist of Distinction" by the National Association of Black Journalists.
Stacia L. Brown is a writer and audio storyteller who has worked in public media since 2016, when she partnered with the Association of Independents in Radio and Baltimore's WEAA 88.9 to create The Rise of Charm City, a narrative podcast that centered community oral histories. She has worked for WAMU’s daily news radio program, 1A, as well as WUNC’s The State of Things. Stacia was a producer for WUNC's award-winning series, Great Grief with Nnenna Freelon and a co-creator of the station's first children's literacy podcast, The Story Stables. She served as a senior producer for two Ten Percent Happier podcasts, Childproof and More Than a Feeling. In early 2023, she was interim executive producer for WNYC’s The Takeaway.
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