CAMAgram - Spring 2005
Coastal Resources Commission Chairman Gene Tomlinson resigns
Gene Tomlinson, chairman of the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission, has resigned from the commission.
A member of the CRC since 1977 and chairman since 1993, Tomlinson has been active in coastal issues throughout his life. A Navy veteran, Tomlinson is a retired engineer and former mayor of Southport.
“Gene’s expertise in coastal issues and his commitment to preserving North Carolina’s rich coastal heritage will be sorely missed,” said Charles Jones, director of the N.C. Division of Coastal Management. “He is the longest-serving member of the CRC, and I am proud to have had the chance to work with him for so many years.”
In a letter to Gov. Mike Easley, Tomlinson expressed regret at leaving the CRC: “During these 26 years, I have seen tremendous changes happen on our coast, from increases in population and development, to the implementation of major environmental laws.
“As with most things,” Tomlinson said, “it is now time to pass the torch on to the next generation. I appreciate the opportunity I have had to positively affect the future of North Carolina’s coast.”
Easley appoints three to Coastal Resources Commission
Gov. Mike Easley has appointed James Leutze of Wilmington, Charles Elam of Apex and Charles Bissette Jr. of Morehead City to serve on the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission.
In addition, Easly appointed Courtney Hackney chairman of the commission, and reappointed Doug Langford of Nags Head, Jerry Old of Moyock, Bill Peele of Washington, and Melvin Shepard of Sneads Ferry. Their terms expire June 30, 2008.
Dr. Leutze is a former chancellor of the University of North Carolina at Wilmington, and is the editor-at-large of N.C. Metro magazine. Elam is a former municipal planner from Cary, and Bissette is vice president of T.D. Eure, a marine contracting firm in Morehead City.
State officials sign historic habitat protection document
CHPP implementation proposals now online
Enhancing oyster restoration and reducing pollution caused by storm water runoff are among a list of actions proposed by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources to begin implementation of North Carolina’s Coastal Habitat Protection Plan.
The proposed list of actions, which also includes preparing a comprehensive coastal beach and inlet management plan, is available for public comment and review.
On Feb. 11, DENR Secretary Bill Ross, signed the CHPP – a landmark conservation package designed to protect and restore critical fisheries habitat. DENR, along with the Marine Fisheries, Coastal Management, and Environmental Management commissions, plans to adopt measures to implement the CHPP by July 1, 2005.
DENR is already taking action by enhancing enforcement of existing rules protecting fish habitat, developing a set of indicators to gauge the on-going health of the estuaries and habitats and reporting on those trends, expanding oyster restoration efforts and educating the public about the importance of these habitats.
Implementation plans are posted at http://www.ncdmf.net/habitat/chpp28.html or are available in hard copy by calling the CHPP Office at 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632. The public can provide comments toCHPPs@ncmail.net or by mailing input to the CHPP Office, Division of Marine Fisheries, P.O. Box 769, Morehead City, N.C. 28557
EstuaryLIVE is May 3-5
The online education program EstuaryLIVE will bring North Carolina’s Rachel Carson Estuarine Research Reserve to classroom computers across the state and country as students participate in virtual field trips during the spring event May 3-5.
The program uses the Internet to transmit live images and sound from the estuary to elementary, middle and high school classrooms. Participating teachers can connect to the trips using an Internet-ready computer and free software. Registration is required. See the Estuary Live Web site atwww.estuarylive.org to register or to view the schedule.
As teachers facilitate the trip, classes identify questions and submit them on the question submit page to the estuary, where naturalists and scientists in the field answer them. Class sessions are divided into grade levels and topics to provide the appropriate level of general estuarine education.
In addition to online field trips to the Rachel Carson Reserve site, the program will feature sessions on blue crabs, oysters, water quality, coastal geology and dredging, coastal weather, decoy carving and sand sculpting.
To prepare for the EstuaryLive electronic field trips, teachers and students can use the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s new Estuary Discovery Kit for high schools. The kit may be downloaded from NOAA’s Web site at http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/education/kits/estuaries/welcome.html.
2005 forecast calls for 13 storms, three intense hurricanes
One of the nation's top hurricane forecasters is calling for another active tropical storm season -- but not as bad as last year, when storm after storm pounded Florida and flooded Western North Carolina.
Hurricane forecaster William Gary predicts the Atlantic will see 13 named storms this year, including seven hurricanes — three of them intense.
Last year, one of the most active in history, saw 15 tropical storms, with nine becoming hurricanes -- six of them intense. Gray had predicted 13 storms, with seven becoming hurricanes, three of those reaching Category 3 or above.
The long-term average is 9.6 named storms, 5.9 hurricanes and 2.3 intense hurricanes. Hurricane season goes from June 1 to Nov. 30.
Gray said there is a 71 percent chance that at least one intense hurricane will make landfall in the United States, and a 52 percent probability that an intense hurricane will strike the East Coast.
Higher hurricane numbers over the past seven to nine years indicate the United States has entered a period of increased storms that will last two or three decades, said Philip Klotzbach, an atmospheric research scientist and a member of the forecast team.
The change correlates to an increase in surface temperatures in the North Atlantic and a decline in surface pressure in the tropical Atlantic. The team said it didn't attribute the changes to human-caused global warming.
More tropical storms have formed over the past 10 years than in any decade since the United States started keeping records in the 1870s.
Gray said there is a 73 percent chance that a major storm -- Category 3 or above -- will make landfall along the U.S. coastline this year. The average for the last century is 52 percent.
Since 1900, North Carolina has been hit by 29 hurricanes. Only Florida, with 64, and Texas, with 38, have seen more.
NOAA Hurricane Preparedness Week is May 15-21
Last year, an unprecedented number of tropical storms affected the Atlantic coast states, and were particularly damaging to Florida and the western part of North Carolina. In an average three-year period, roughly five hurricanes strike the U.S., causing widespread property damage, injuries, and deaths.
Some 45 million permanent residents live along the hurricane-prone coastline, and the population continutes to grow. A large portion of the coastal areas with high population densities are subject to the inundation from the hurricane's storm surge that historically has caused the greatest loss of life and extreme property damage. In addition, many newer residents have never experienced a severe hurricaneand may be unprepared for the devastation these storms can cause.
NOAA’s Hurricane Preparedness Week focuses on educating the public on the dangers of hurricanes and other severe storms, and details the steps you can take to reduce storm damage and protect yourself, your family and your property. These steps include securing your home against winds and storm surge, developing a family disaster plan, and assembling a disaster supply kit.
For more information, visit NOAA’s Hurricane Preparedness Web site.
Although the 2005 version resembles the 2001 version, there are several differences. For example, the new version recognizes the CHPP as a component. Under the bill, DENR is charged with developing a beach management plan for the state.
Protecting N.C. oysters
Brunswick County groin structure
Coastal hazards disclosure
Va. Governor vetoes offshore drilling bill
New U.S. natural gas measure would expand offshore access
NOAA Organic Act sent to Congress
In its report, the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy stated that a NOAA Organic Act would strengthen the agency and would help to ensure that its structure is consistent with its primary functions of management, prediction, research and education. The report said the act would help NOAA achieve better management of oceans and coasts through an ecosystem-based approach.
DCM leads North Carolina’s Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program
The Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (was established by Congress in 2002 to protect coastal and estuarine lands considered important for their ecological, conservation, recreational, historical or aesthetic value. The program provides funding for projects that ensure conservation of these areas for the benefit of future generations, and that can be effectively managed and protected.
The Division of Coastal Management is the lead agency for the CECLP in North Carolina. The division partnered with the Office of Conservation and Community Affairs in 2004 to inventory the existing conservation lands in the state’s 20 coastal counties, and to identify local priority areas for future land conservation efforts. Several other stakeholders have already been involved in various aspects of the program, including regional councils of government, environmental organizations, and the N.C. Center for Geographic Information and Analysis). Using GIS data assembled by CGIA, DCM is creating maps that portray existing conservation areas and potential sites for future conservation.
Before the state is eligible to seek funding under the CELCP, DCM must submit a CELC Plan to NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management for approval. A key component of the state’s CELC Plan is a set of criteria by which projects will be nominated for funding. The state must also identify the agencies, or types of agencies, that will be authorized to hold title to property acquired through the CELCP. Subject to plan completion and certification, North Carolina may be eligible to seek funding as soon as 2006. CELCP funds require 100 percent match from non-federal sources, through cash or in-kind contributions. The standard performance period for an award is 18 months, but may be extended an additional 18 months if circumstances warrant.
This year, DCM will solicit input on establishing nomination criteria and other aspects of the state’s Plan. Interested parties are encouraged to contact Tancred Miller in DCM’s Morehead City office at (252) 808-2808 or 888-912-CAMA (2262), or at Tancred.Miller@ncmail.net.
DENR’s new stormwater web site makes a splash
Coastal conditions report
Coastal population on the rise
New Website Investigates Coastal Impacts from Storms
Gov. Easley announces 2004 tourism figures
“North Carolina’s tourism industry brought the state 49 million visitors in 2004, and generated $13.2 billion in revenue last year for the state,” Easley said. “The travel and tourism industry is an important industry in this state and I am committed to maintaining our reputation as a top travel destination.”
Lowana Barrett is the new receptionist in Morehead City.
John Cece has joined the Elizabeth City office as a field representaitve. John has a degree in marine and estuarine biolgoy from the University of Maryland. His past work experience in the environmental consulting field includes the development of plans for federal agencies to comply with the requirements of NCPA and CZMA and reduce potential impacts of proposed development projects.
Rebecca Ellin is the new NERR coastal reserve manager. Rebecca has her master’s degree in Marine Science from the University of South Carolina. She was once a NERR graduate research fellow for the North Inlet-Winyah Bay NERR, and was also a NOAA coastal management fellow for the California Coastal Commission.
Anthony Snider is the new southern sites manager for DCM’s Coastal Reserve program. Anthony will be primarily overseeing stewardship activities for the two southern National Estuarine Research Reserve sites (Masonboro and Zeke's Islands) and the two southern Coastal Reserve sites at Bald Head and Bird Island. He holds a PhD in forestry/botany from N.C. State University. He worked at the University of Minnesota teaching various environmental policy/conservation and management issues related to natural resources.
Heather Wells recently joined the Coastal Reserve staff as the NERR research assistant. Heather most recently worked as a research technician at UNCW's Aquaity Ecology laboratory.
Congratulations to Morehead City plannerMaureen MeehanWill, who married Rob Will on Feb. 12.
Cathy Wood is the accounting technician in the Raleigh office. Cathy comes to us from the Museum of Natural Sciences, where she worked for almost 22 years.