The hydraulics unit of the North Carolina Department of Transportation recently won a 2022 Pelican Award from the North Carolina Coastal Federation for its efforts to both protect and improve coastal water quality.

[Above photo by NCDOT]

The Pelican Award honors volunteers, businesses, agencies, and organizations that go “above and beyond” to ensure a healthy North Carolina coast for future generations.

The Federation commended the NCDOT team – one of three winners of Pelican wards this year – for its dedicated advancement of nature-based resilience initiatives, such as its work on the living shoreline project along N.C. 24. That project is part of NCDOT’s effort to make more than 500 miles of coastal roads resilient to storms using nature-based solutions.

“The [NCDOT hydraulics] unit is on the cutting edge of research and advancement of effective stormwater management,” the Federation said in a press release about the 2022 Pelican Award winners.

The Hydraulics Unit has collaborated with the N.C. Coastal Federation for more than 20 years on various projects and educational opportunities.

“We both want to protect our environment, ensure our economy is thriving, and ensure those special areas of our state where people want to visit, work, and play remain accessible,” said NCDOT Hydraulics Engineer Stephen Morgan in a statement.

The unit also received recognition for helping develop the “nature-based” Stormwater Strategies Action Plan released by the Federation and The Pew Charitable Trusts in 2021.

“I want to thank the great work of my staff, who – alongside our partners at the Federation – leveraged resources, expertise, and educational opportunities to make our projects truly successful for all involved,” NCDOT’s Morgan said. “We were very excited to receive the Pelican Award and look forward to continuing our efforts with this important work.”