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By Jim Hawhee, APNEP staff
APNEP's Raleigh staff celebrates 25 years and a new executive order
Today APNEP is celebrating its 25th anniversary. On November 14, 1987, hundreds attended a designation ceremony in Elizabeth City establishing the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine Study, our program’s predecessor.
Earlier that year, our nation’s 100th Congress passed the 1987 amendments to the Clean Water Act, which designated the Albemarle-Pamlico Sounds as an “estuary of national significance” and authorized the formation of the National Estuary Program.
Of course, that temperate fall weekend in 1987 was characterized by other happenings. The Running Man was released in theatres, featuring rising action star Arnold Schwarzenegger. Tiffany and Billy Idol were dueling for the top spot in Kasey Kasem’s American Top 40. Smiley faces were everywhere, as were acid-washed jeans, fingerless gloves, and other questionable fashion accessories.
A lot has changed in 25 years, both for our program and in popular culture. In honor of our silver anniversary, we’re pleased to announce the recent signing of Governor’s Executive Order #133, reauthorizing, restructuring, and renaming the program.
Among the most significant changes is an adjustment to the program’s name, which is now formally known as the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership. This change reflects our longstanding ethos that efforts to improve the sounds must rise above any single agency or organization. Effective stewardship of the sounds requires strong collaboration between all agencies, organizations and citizens with a stake in their future.
APNEP will see other changes in the coming months, all designed to improve implementation of ecosystem-based management approaches as we begin implementing the Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan adopted in March. The specifics regarding those changes, including adjustments to the Partnership’s committee structure, will be the subject of much discussion and a forthcoming Soundings post.
We also note that while some things change, others remain the same. Though our approach will adapt with the times, our commitment to the sounds and the citizens of our region remains untempered. On a lighter note, here at APNEP we’re still unabashed fans of Apple computers, Hawaiian shirts, and pretty much anything else from the most radical of decades.
We thank those that have committed to serving the sounds and our program over the past quarter century. We also look forward to kindling new collaborative efforts while strengthening old bonds in furtherance of our mission.
The Greek philosopher Heraclitus is well known for saying “no man ever steps in the same river twice.” The quote has special significance for an estuary program and is notable for its embrace of a changing world. As our Partnership develops, we hope you will join us in collaborative efforts to protect and restore the Albemarle-Pamlico Sounds.