ST. JAMES, N.C. -- One coastal community gives back by improving water quality and the shoreline.
Seven years ago, the Town of Saint James in Brunswick County started its own oyster shell recycling and rebuilding program.
Thursday, community members, UNC Wilmington students and kids from summer camps helped rebuild oyster reefs and plant grass along the intracoastal waterway.
Organizers say over the years they've seen great improvements.
"We have definitely prevented soil erosion. We have definitely created a habitat for wildlife and the water is certainly getting cleaner. We want to set an example for other communities to make the same progress," said organizer Taylor Ryan.
Through a partnership with UNCW, the beds are monitored monthly. Organizers say they're working on getting permission from the state to build more reefs.