. Coast watch. Marine resources; Oceanography; Coastal zone management; Coastal ecology. NORTH CAROLINA STATE LIBRARY RALEIGH Ooe. UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA KH«lTT[lFe 8 1978 August, 1977 1235 Burlington Laboratories NCSU, Raleigh, N.C. 27607 Tel: (919) 737-2^54 It's falling into the ocean. j*i hu * tal bh In 1864 Fort Fisher stood staunchly on the lip of the Atlantic Ocean, manned by Confederates protecting the vital port of Wilmington. Its huge earthen mounds stretched a mile and a half along North Carolina's coast. Today only a handful of earthen mounds remain of what was once considere

. Coast watch. Marine resources; Oceanography; Coastal zone management; Coastal ecology. NORTH CAROLINA STATE LIBRARY RALEIGH Ooe. UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA KH«lTT[lFe 8 1978 August, 1977 1235 Burlington Laboratories NCSU, Raleigh, N.C. 27607 Tel: (919) 737-2^54 It's falling into the ocean. j*i hu * tal bh In 1864 Fort Fisher stood staunchly on the lip of the Atlantic Ocean, manned by Confederates protecting the vital port of Wilmington. Its huge earthen mounds stretched a mile and a half along North Carolina's coast. Today only a handful of earthen mounds remain of what was once considere Stock Photo
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. Coast watch. Marine resources; Oceanography; Coastal zone management; Coastal ecology. NORTH CAROLINA STATE LIBRARY RALEIGH Ooe. UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA KH«lTT[lFe 8 1978 August, 1977 1235 Burlington Laboratories NCSU, Raleigh, N.C. 27607 Tel: (919) 737-2^54 It's falling into the ocean. j*i hu * tal bh In 1864 Fort Fisher stood staunchly on the lip of the Atlantic Ocean, manned by Confederates protecting the vital port of Wilmington. Its huge earthen mounds stretched a mile and a half along North Carolina's coast. Today only a handful of earthen mounds remain of what was once considered the strongest fortification in the world. But it wasn't the Civil War that destroyed it. Since 1865, the main challenge to the fort has been the ever-creeping erosion of wind and waves. It's a battle which, without a lot of intervention, the fort is destined to lose. Like much other construction on the coastline, Fort Fisher is slipping into the ocean. Unfortunately, it seems to be eroding faster than any other area of the state. Erosion of the fort has been a consistent phenomenon since 1865 and has averaged 15 feet per year. It has eaten away at the beach, the remains of the fort, vegetation and a state owned picnic area. U.S. Highway 421, which runs from Wilmington to the tip of the barrier island has been washed out and relocated twice. The problem also plagues other historic sites along the coast. At Cape Hatteras, for example, the ocean has been encroaching dangerously on the famous lighthouse for years—in spite of efforts at erosion control. Clay Gifford of the National Park Service has watched the sea carry off protective sandbags "as big as automobiles." Much of the erosion at Fort Fisher can be attributed to hurricanes and northeasters. Four severe hurricanes in 1954 and 1955 snatched large portions of the fort and inspired the state to begin its first ten- tative efforts to control erosion there. Rubble, including broken concrete and brickwork, was pil

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