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Goal: Advocate for compatible land and water uses that protect clean water, critical habitats, and public access to the coast.

The federation cultivates effective advocates so as to help decision-makers fully consider the long-term consequences of their actions on the environment and economy of our coastal communities. We identify and then apply cost-effective and workable solutions that make our coast a better place to visit, live and work.

Ongoing Projects

Manns Harbor
Save Rich Inlet Campaign

Model Industrial Development In New Hanover County

How we work:

  • Recruit all possible partners, including non-traditional stakeholders who don’t normally join environmental causes
  • Provide internal leadership, technical assistance and management
  • Secure funding to support critical issues
  • Disseminate information necessary for informed decision-making
  • Applaud significant accomplishments by stakeholders
  • Hold decision-makers accountable for their actions
  • Lobby the lawmakers and agencies in Raleigh


Join/Renew or Donate

This list is just a few of the current things your support allows us to do:

Champion Low-impact development

Low-impact development (LID) is an effective method of land use planning and stormwater engineering that protects and restores the health of our coastal waters.

LID works by protecting or replicating a landscape’s natural surface and groundwater hydrology. It uses decentralized LID measures to capture and absorb stormwater instead of concentrating it within ditches, pipes and ponds, and having it discharge as polluted runoff.

The federation has partnerships with many local, state and federal agencies to secure funding to develop LID programs, tools and watershed restoration plans to reduce runoff from both new and existing land uses. Our members’ support also allows us to continue and expand this work.

Since 2005, the federation has worked with hundreds of government agencies, developers, homebuilders, surveyors, landscape architects, engineers and universities to promote and facilitate greater use of LID for new residential, commercial, industrial and institutional projects.

Promote Sensible Economic Development

Your support helps us promote a durable coastal economy by encouraging public and private investments that put people to work restoring salt marshes, oyster reefs, living shorelines, water quality, antiquated drainage systems, forested wetlands, and public coastal access. We oppose polluting development that could severely damage the health and economic viability of our coast. This includes our ongoing fight to stop Titan America’s plan to build a huge cement kiln and massive strip mine along the Northeast Cape Fear River north of Wilmington. We also helped local people prevent the building of a Sulfur Smelter at the Port of Morehead City. For more than 30 years, we have opposed the development of oil and gas resources since it would undoubtedly degrade our pristine fisheries and water quality just as it has done everywhere else in the world where it has been exploited.


With your support, we work to protect our spectacular oceanfront beaches from being trashed by seawalls, groins, and incompatible dredge spoils. The federation watches over our beaches, and makes sure that efforts to protect privately owned oceanfront houses and motels from a rising and stormy sea will not degrade our beautiful publicly owned beaches in N.C.


The projects you support provide for more public access to coastal lands and waters. We helped commercial and recreational fishermen to come up with a local management agreement that provides for fishing access to Croatan Sound in Manns Harbor. The Town of Holly Ridge and the federation are operating a waterfront park that provides fishing access to Stump Sound. The federation has made nearly 2,500 acres of new gamelands available by donating protected and restored coastal forests and wetlands to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, and we are working on a new project that will open up an additional 6,000 acres of preserved coastal lands for public recreation near Beaufort, N.C.


The federation watches over the coast and calls attention to regulatory concerns that need added consideration. In the past year, we have worked with the Pamlico County Board of Commissioners to seek enforcement of wetland safeguards for a 4,600 acre property that is being ditched and drained near vital estuaries. We have asked federal agencies to examine how unauthorized ditching is also occurring within the 70,000 acre Hofmann Forest in Onslow and Jones Counties. The federation routinely connects concerned people with government agencies when regulatory concerns arise. We are also part of numerous stakeholder teams working to improve coastal rules and permitting procedures related to water quality and habitat protection.


The shorelines that fringe our coastal sounds, bays, rivers and creeks are some of the most economically and ecologically valuable real estate in the world. Over the years, we have degraded the ecological value of thousands of miles of these shorelines by misguided attempts to stop it from washing away. The federation works with federal, state and local agencies, private marine contractors, and waterfront landowners to promote new federal and state policies and permit standards that encourage the use of more natural methods of controlling shoreline erosion on our state’s 12,000 miles of estuarine shorelines. We seek to do away with regulatory disincentives that allow for more damaging and less effective stabilization methods to be commonly used even when better, more environmentally sound and cost-effective alternatives are available.