CAMAgram - Fall 2006
CAMA General Permit Application Fees Increased Sept. 1
The cost of Coastal Area Management Act General Permit applications increased Sept. 1. At its June meeting, the Coastal Resources Commission voted to increase the application fees, up to a maximum of $400, in order to offset the increased cost of processing the permits. This is the first increase in CAMA General Permit fees since 2000.
“Over the years, the cost of processing permits has increased significantly,” said Ted Tyndall, assistant director for permits and enforcement with the N.C. Division of Coastal Management. “We need the higher fees to keep pace with that cost. Comparatively, these new fees will still be among the lowest for permits needed for coastal development.”
CAMA General Permits are used for routine projects that usually pose little or no threat to the environment, such as the construction of private piers and docks, riprap and bulkheads, and installation of sandbags.
The new fees for each type of General Permit are listed below:
15A NCAC 07H
7B .0801, Public Hearing and Local Adoption Requirements
07H .1102, 07H .1302, 07H .2102, CAMA General Permit approval procedures
7B .0801 Public Hearing and Local Adoption Requirements
7K .0208 Single Family Residences Exempted
Increasing growth on North Carolina’s coast has had an unfortunate side effect – the steady loss of fishing piers, small motels, family campgrounds and other means of public access to the water. In the past decade, the number of coastal fishing piers has dropped from 32 to 21. Five years ago there were 136 fish houses in the state, down to just 41 today.
Coastal access losses are of such concern that the General Assembly this year created a Waterfront Access Study Committee to find new ways to address the issue. The committee held its first meeting Sept. 26 in Raleigh, and recently met for a second time in Pine Knoll Shores. At its first meeting the committee reviewed its charge, determined what information it needs and the sources of such information, discussed trends and potential techniques and management tools that might be used in this effort. The second meeting focused on information received from committee members relating to access and development trends, other states’ efforts to address the issue, and potential solutions.
The committee has discussed several strategies to encourage retaining traditional land uses in the coast, including the establishment of a working waterfront/waterfront access trust fund for the purchase of waterfront land or easements and a present-use value tax break for owners of working waterfronts, similar to one that already exists for farmers.
The legislation calls for the committee to make an interim report to the Joint Legislative Commission on Seafood and Aquaculture, the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Coastal Resources Commission by Jan. 15.
Membership of the Waterfront Access Study Committee
(1)Director of the Sea Grant College Program of The University of North Carolina or the Director's designee (Committee Chair):Michael Voiland, Executive Director, North Carolina Sea Grant
(2)Senate Co-chair of the Joint Legislative Commission on Seafood and Aquaculture or the Co-chair's designee:Sen. Charlie Albertson, Senate Co-chair, Joint Legislative Commission on Seafood and Aquaculture
(3)House Co-chair of the Joint Legislative Commission on Seafood and Aquaculture or the Co-chair's designee:Rep. William Wainwright, House Co-chair, Joint Legislative Commission on Seafood and Aquaculture
(4)Chair of the Marine Fisheries Commission:Mac Currin, Chair, Marine Fisheries Commission
(5)Chair of the Coastal Resources Commission:Courtney Hackney, Chair, Coastal Resources Commission
(6)Chair of the Wildlife Resources Commission or the Chair's designee:Gordon Myers, Division Chief, Wildlife Resources Commission
(7)Director of the Division of Marine Fisheries or the Director's designee:Brian Cheuvront, Federal Aid Coordinator, Division of Marine Fisheries
(8)Director of the Division of Coastal Management:Charles Jones, Director, Division of Coastal Management
(9)President of the North Carolina Recreation and Parks Association or the President's designee:Neal Lewis, Director, New Hanover County Parks and Recreation
(10)A representative of a local government located in the Northeast Coastal Region:Allen Burrus, Co. Commissioner, Dare Co.
(11)A representative of a local government located in the Central Coastal Region:Art Schools, Mayor, Emerald Isle
(12)A representative of a local government located in the Southeast Coastal Region:John Vereen, Mayor, Oak Island
(13)An economist appointed by the Speaker of the House of Representatives:Douglas Wakeman, Meredith College
(14)A representative of the residential building industry who builds in a coastal region:Buddy Milliken, The Milliken Company, Brunswick County
(15)A realtor licensed under Chapter 93A of the General Statutes:Julia Wax, Emerald Isle Realty
(16)An individual involved in economic development in a coastal region:Dave Inscoe, Carteret County Economic Development Council
(17)A representative of the marine trades industry:Robin Mann, Paul Mann Custom Boats, Mann’s Harbor
(18)A representative of the commercial fishing industry:Hardy Plyler, Commercial Fisherman, Ocracoke
(19)A representative of the recreational fishing industry:Ernie Foster, The Albatross Fleet, Hatteras
(20)A social scientist:Barbara Garrity-Blake, Cultural Anthropologist/Book Author, Gloucester
(21)A representative of the environmental community:Jim Stephenson, Program Analyst, N.C. Coastal Federation
What are the state requirements for public access on the oceanfront?
How much access does the state require communities undergoing beach nourishment to provide?
What types of projects does the public access program fund?
Can local governments that receive CAMA public access grants charge for parking at their access facilities?
Does the state program fund boating and fishing facilities?
Where does the Division of Coastal Management get the money for the grants?
At its November meeting, the Coastal Resources Commission adopted new sediment criteria rules for beach nourishment projects in North Carolina.
Why develop new sediment criteria rules?
What are the current rules?
What is the major change in the new rules?
What were the technical justifications for the guidelines in the new rules?
A white paper describing the data and methods used in rule development can be found online at www.nccoastalmanagement.net/sediment.htm.
Who had input into the rules?
Coastal Management staff worked closely with the CRC Science Panel, other DENR divisions, environmental groups and other stakeholder groups to develop these rules. In addition, the CRC held a public hearing on the rules at its September 2006 meeting. Overall, the rulemaking process has taken more than two years to complete.
Thanks to UNC-Wilmington student Justin Lewis, nearly 30 marinas on the southern N.C coast were found to be out of compliance with Coastal Management rules regarding pumpout stations this summer.
During his summer internship with DCM’s Wilmington office, Justin assessed marinas throughoutBrunswick, New Hanover, Pender and Onslow counties that either received state money for pumpout stations or were required by permit to implement such a system. His research found that out of the total number of marinas in the Wilmington district, 53 percent are required by permit to have a pumpout facility. Out of that number (60 marinas) only 35 percent had installed a pumpout station as required.
Out of the 39 marinas Justin found to be out of compliance, 10 came into compliance after the matter was brought to the owners’ attention. Six marinas were either under construction or had closed, leaving 18 marinas that were issued a notice of violation by DCM. Seventeen of the marinas have since signed restoration plan agreements and have purchased and installed, or will install, pumpout facilities.
“The outcome of this project … is not only to require the marinas to cooperate with DCM’s rules to develop and maintain an effective pumpout system, but will significantly contribute to the esthetics and health of coastal waters,” Lewis said.
Pumpout facilities are used to properly dispose of marine sewage, so that the sewage is not dumped into local waters. Coastal Management’s Marine Sewage Pumpout and Dump Station Grant Program provides financial assistance to marinas and other boat-docking facilities for the installation and renovation of pumpout and dump stations in North Carolina.
Coastal Reserves staff conducted a workshop on Stormwater Management and Sustainable Development in Morehead City on Nov. 1. This workshop was a result of information gathered through a needs assessment of Carteret County town planning board members.
Tom Reeder from the Division of Water Quality, Ed Mitchell from the River Dunes development in Pamlico County, along with Tere Barrett and Maureen Will with the Division of Coastal Management, all assisted with the workshop. Thirty-three people attended the workshop, including planning board members from Pine Knoll Shores, Peletier, Beaufort and Atlantic Beach; the town of Beaufort's mayor; engineers from Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point; and area environmental nonprofit groups. Post-workshop evaluations revealed that 96 percent of attendees intend to apply the information they learned at the workshop in their work. Notable comments from the evaluations include:
"The clock is ticking - we're running out of time to stop the harmful impact on our environment from runaway development."
We need a workshop for Carteret County governments to discuss potential ordinances for the area. This might encourage some uniformity in stormwater management, and implementation of the Universal Stormwater Management Program."
One of the biggest threats to water quality along the coast and elsewhere is runoff pollution. It occurs when rainwater, snowmelt or irrigation water doesn’t soak into the ground, but instead runs off the land or developed surfaces, carrying pollutants into creeks, streams, rivers and sounds.
In recent years, the coastal region has been subject to several problems related to pollution from stormwater runoff, also known as nonpoint source pollution. Algal blooms, fish kills, sediment plumes and shellfish closures have been caused by upland pollutants finding their way into the state’s coastal waters.
Healthy shorelines are a great investment for clean water. A well-vegetated shoreline with shrubs and deep-rooted plants filters chemicals and sediments that pollute our waters and harm fish and wildlife. It keeps our shorelands intact by absorbing energy from wave action and preventing erosion.
A healthy shoreline also provides essential habitat and travel corridors for fish and wildlife, including species at risk. It also provides a wonderful space for our relaxation and enjoyment! Healthy natural shorelines are essential to industries including fisheries, tourism and recreation
1. Dispose of leaves, grass clippings and other yard waste properly
Grass clippings, leaves and other yard wastes left on sidewalks, driveways or streets will wash away with the next storm. Although leaves and other plant debris accumulate naturally in streams and lakes, excess amounts of plant matter, especially in areas with many homes, can lead to water that is unattractive or green with algae, potential fish kills, and make areas unsuitable for recreation because of debris or algae blooms.
Instead, leave grass clippings on the lawn to act as natural fertilizer, compost leaves and grass clippings for use as garden mulch, or bag yard waste for collection.
2. Always clean up after your pets
Pet wastes contain viruses, bacteria and parasites that can threaten human health and cause shellfish bed closures and algae blooms. The risk of stormwater contamination increases if pet wastes are allowed to accumulate in animal pens or are left on sidewalks, streets and driveways.
To keep pet waste from polluting our water systems, clean up after your pets using a scooper or plastic grocery bag, or consider installing a pet waste digester on your property.
3. Dispose of auto fluids properly; don’t wash your car on the driveway or street.
Oil stains on your driveway and spills of antifreeze, brake fluid and other fluids can wash into storm drains. Routine maintenance can help identify potential leaks. If you change your own oil, be careful to avoid spills and collect waste oil for recycling. NEVER dump used oil, antifreeze or gasoline down a storm drain, in a ditch or on the ground. These wastes will end up in a nearby lake or stream, where they may pollute your drinking water.
Washing your car in the driveway creates runoff without the help of a rainstorm—your hose provides the water. The dirty, soapy runoff drains directly into storm sewers, picking up oil and other pollutants as it goes. If possible, try washing your car on the lawn. Better yet, take it to a commercial car wash.
4. Install a rain garden, and plant trees and shrubbery to reduce erosion.
A rain garden is a shallow depression in your yard that is planted with native plants and is positioned in the yard to receive runoff from your roof, sidewalks, driveway and lawns allowing water to slowly soak into the ground.
A rain garden is also a water conservation system, gathering then holding and using rainwater that falls on your property and saving precious water resources.
Leave an unmowed buffer strip of thick vegetation along streams or shorelines.
5. Reduce the use of fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides.
Fertilizers contain nitrogen and phosphorus, which can cause algae growth. Pesticides and herbicides are poisonous, and pose a threat not only to humans, but to wildlife, plans and beneficial insects.
Instead of fertilizing your lawn, consider mulching your grass clippings for a natural fertilizer. If you do fertilize, keep fertilizer of sidewalks and driveways.
Consider weeding by hand rather than using herbicides, and landscape with disease and pest-resistant plants.
Never apply chemicals to your lawn just before it rains.
6. Properly store and dispose of household chemicals.
Keeping hazardous substances such as cleaners, paint and pool chemicals in waterproof containers and store them up high and out of the potential path of runoff or floodwaters. Avoid storage problems by buying only as a much of a product as you need for a particular task.
Use environmentally friendly products and cleaners, or alternatives like baking soda and vinegar.
Don’t pour these chemicals down storm or household drains. Dispose of them at designated areas.
Concrete and asphalt roads, driveways and walkways are impervious; they prevent rainwater from soaking into the ground.
When you have the choice, consider alternative materials such as gravel or wood chips for walkways. Avoid paving areas like patios.
If you must pour concrete, keep the paved area as small and narrow as possible.
8. Direct rainspouts away from paved surfaces and onto grassy areas.
The roof on your house sheds water during rainfall events. If downspouts from roof gutters empty onto grassy or natural areas, the water will have a chance to soak into the ground. Aim downspouts away from foundations and paved surfaces.
For roofs without gutters, plant grass, spread mulch or use gravel under the drip line to prevent soil erosion and increase infiltration of water into the ground. Consider using cisterns or rain barrels to catch rain for watering your lawn and garden in dry weather.
9. Maintain your septic system.
Malfunctioning septic systems and improper waste disposal degrade water quality, and can lead to beach closures for swimming and shellfish harvesting.
Reduce the amount of solids entering the system from garbage disposals by composting household waste.
Never pour oil and grease down household drains. Instead, put it in a container, allow it to harden, then seal the container and place it in the trash.
Sediment from development or unvegetated areas can impact water quality and aquatic habitats, and can also lead to flooding.
Consider reseeding bare lawn areas, and plant groundcover, shrubs and trees to hold soil in place, reduce erosion and filter pollutants from runoff.
Sweep sediment from driveways, sidewalks and patios. Do not use a hose to wash it away.
The N.C. Coastal Reserves participated in this year’s Big Sweep event with a cleanup of five Reserve sites:
Rachel Carson Reserve in Beaufort
Zeke’s Island Reserve in New Hanover County
Masonboro Island Reserve in Wilmington
Buxton Woods Reserve in Dare County
Currituck Banks Reserve in Corolla
This summer, sea turtle monitoring was reinstated at the Masonboro Island National Estuarine Research Reserve after a five-year hiatus. The 8.4 mile long barrier island is bordered by fully developed islands to the north and south and has historically served as one of the most important sea turtle nesting areas in the greater Wilmington area. The island was last monitored in 2001 when 26 loggerhead nests and 35 “false crawls” were recorded. This year, 25 nests – three of which were endangered green sea turtles – were found on the northern half of the island. Since 2001 Masonboro Island has been the only beach in North Carolina not monitored.
The sea turtle monitoring project on Masonboro Island is a collaborative effort with Dr. Amanda Southwood with UNC-Wilmington, and Emily Abernathy, a recent UNC-Wilmington graduate. A group of 15 volunteers, with sea turtle monitoring experience, also assisted with the project.
Sea turtle monitors are also working with N.C. Audubon to cross-train for bird monitoring as part of the project. Audubon has conducted surveys of colonial shorebird nesting sites, and has provided the materials and personnel to stake those sites. The collaborative effort stands to benefit both Audubon’s efforts and the goals of the Reserve.
State of the Beach report
Holman appointed visiting scholar at Duke University
Jennifer Rouse, GIS analyst in the Raleigh office, has left DCM for a position with a private GIS company that works with local governments.
Ann Wunderly is joining DCM as the Coastal Reserves Northern Sites Manager. Ann will be responsible for managing the Currituck Banks component of the N.C. National Estuarine Research Reserve, Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve, and Buxton Woods Coastal Reserve.