Luckily, there’s a plan in place to save it.

By Meghan Overdeep
February 22, 2019
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Moor Shore Road in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, isn’t just one of the oldest roads in the Outer Banks, it’s also home to one of the area’s lesser known historical sites. Though the home is long gone, a marker erected in 1928 still stands where the Wright Brothers began assembling their first experimental glider—a precursor to the world’s first airplane.

A scenic drive running parallel to Kitty Hawk Bay, Moor Shore Road is the route the Wright Brothers traveled to get from Bill Tate’s boarding house in Kitty Hawk to their campsite at the base of Kill Devil Hill. Today, it is part of the Outer Banks Marathon and serves as a popular detour for locals during the summer when the main roads are packed with tourists. It’s also an essential evacuation route during hurricane season.

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But thanks to rising sea levels and shore erosion, the marsh that once separated it from Kitty Hawk Bay has vanished, and according to Coastal Review Online, Moor Shore Road is one of many historic sites on the North Carolina coast in danger of disappearing forever.

Luckily, there’s a plan in place to save it.

After determining that the road has “intrinsic value,” the nonprofit North Carolina Coastal Federation has begun construction on something called a living shoreline. A series of seven breakwaters (A.K.A. wave speed bumps) along 600 feet of the shore will catch sediment, thereby rebuilding the vanished marsh. Once enough sediment has piled up, the foundation says that lost grasses and reeds will sprout again, limiting further shore erosion.

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“This coming spring and summer the Coastal Federation and partners will plant thousands of marsh grasses along the shoreline to further protect the shoreline, create habitat and improve water quality,” the organization’s website reads.

For more information on the project, visit NCCoast.org.