Jacksonville wants to build oyster highway


JACKSONVILLE, Onslow County - The city of Jacksonville wants to build a oyster highway in the New River.

The city already has a few oyster reefs in the New River, but there is a 20 mile stretch that doesn't have any. It runs from Southwest Creek to Stone Bay.

The city's Storm Water Manager, Pat Donovan-Potts, said the oyster highway would help certain marine life survive in the river. She said that the reef would also help filter the water in the river.

"You've got clean water," Donovan-Potts said. "We've got habitat for small fish and shrimp and crabs, which are in our estuaries. It's just a win-win situation and with none there (right now), we just want to build it back. We need to restore the river back to part of its original state."

The city is working with the Coastal Conservation Association and the North Carolina Wildlife Habitat Foundation to raise the money for the project. It is expected to cost between $600-$700,000. Both organizations are meeting with state legislators and other state agencies to raise the money.

To learn how you can donate, visit the Coastal Conservation Association website or the North Carolina Wildlife Habitat Foundation website.