Submitted by eschneider on
AmeriCorps staff

AmeriCorps features stories in the news about programs, partners, and members committed to improving our communities through service

Every day, AmeriCorps works to mitigate the adverse effects of climate change. More than 16,000 AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers annually are making strides in conservation, renewable energy, and community resilience projects that address the climate crisis. AmeriCorps has decades of proven experience in environmental stewardship, a vast network of partners and community-driven infrastructure that supports both current needs and builds pathways from service to employment.

In communities around the country, AmeriCorps members are getting things done. Conservation Corps North Carolina’s mission is to connect youth and young adults to meaningful conservation service work that benefits North Carolina communities and connect them to nature and the outdoors. Participants work on projects that preserve, restore, and improve public lands and trails across the state.

Right now they are tackling a project, first of its kind, focused on coastal restoration and living shorelines through a partnership with North Carolina Coastal Federation.

You can read more in the following excerpt from the Coastal Review article: Conservation Corps North Carolina plugs first living shoreline project

The six-person AmeriCorps crew, volunteers and federation staff planted the salt marsh grass, completing a restoration project put in place to reduce shoreline erosion, protect the area’s maritime forest from storms, provide fish habitat and help improve coastal water quality, according to the federation. The AmeriCorps crew also collected marine debris and did maintenance work at Cape Lookout National Seashore, Carolina Beach State Park, Morris Landing in Holly Ridge and other spots on the central and southern North Carolina coast.

The living shoreline was built with bags of recycled oyster shells placed along the shoreline by Restoration Systems LLC, an environmental restoration business based in Raleigh. The state Department of Justice’s Environmental Enhancement Grant program and the North Carolina Land and Water Fund funded that portion of the project.

Though there was a torrential downpour that morning and into early afternoon, the sky cleared by about 2 p.m. May 7, allowing enough time to plant the thousands of plugs.

AK Kelly, from Florida, was among the six-member crew planting salt marsh grass that day.

Kelly joined the Conservation Corps earlier this year, after deciding it was time to get back into the field, literally. Kelly earned a degree in environmental science focusing in conservation a few years ago, but after graduating, ended up in the service industry.

“I was just ready to get back into my field, ready to get back into stuff relevant to my degree,” Kelly said about choosing the organization. “Conservation Corps was a great opportunity for me to do that in a way where I’m going to very clearly build my skill set, get my confidence back, get to do a wide variety of work, and remember why I love what I love.”

Read more the full article in the Coastal Review: Conservation Corps North Carolina plugs first living shoreline project

Engaging passionate, committed adults of all ages in national service to tackle the climate crisis for a more sustainable future and is at the core of what AmeriCorps is all about. Hats off to these all-stars!

#WhatsAtYourCore? Learn more about how to protect the environment through service.