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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Coastal Management - spring06

Coastal Management

CAMAgram - Spring 2006

DCM Conducts Training for 65 Local Permit Officers

The N.C. Division of Coastal Management recently conducted two training workshops for local permit officers in the 20 coastal counties. Sixty-five LPOs attended the workshops in Morehead City and Kill Devil Hills.

Cooperative state and local government programs are an important component of the Coastal Area Management Act. Locally adopted Implementation and Enforcement Plans allow local governments to process CAMA Minor Permits in-house, giving them an active role in the management of the coastal resources within their jurisdictions, as well as providing an additional public service to their citizens.

“These joint training sessions are an important way for us to work directly with local governments to provide guidance on coastal management issues,” said Ted Tyndall, DCM’s assistant director for permits and enforcement. “It is a testament to how valuable these sessions are that so many LPOs take time out of their busy schedules to attend each year.”

The agenda for the two-day workshops included updates on recent changes to Coastal Resources Commission rules and training in assisting applicants in variance or third-party hearing requests. DCM staff also conducted interactive field training in staking Normal High Water and Normal Water Levels; identifying and locating the first line of stable, natural vegetation on a property; and identifying coastal wetlands.
 

NOAA Issues 2006 Hurricane Forecast

Last year, a record number of tropical storms affected the United States – 28 named storms, 15 of them hurricanes – and this season could be another record-breaker. In an average three-year period, roughly five hurricanes strike the U.S., causing widespread property damage, injuries and deaths.

The 2006 hurricane season begins June 1,and forecasters are predicting the north Atlantic region should prepare for another active hurricane season. NOAA is predicting 13 to 16 named storms, with eight to 10 of those becoming hurricanes and about half of the hurricanes developing into “major” categories of 3 or higher.

In addition, weather forecasters have predicted that the North Carolina coast is a prime target for hurricanes this season, ranking the risk of a major storm hitting the N.C. coast as “very high.”

Hurricane preparations listed on NOAA’s Web site include stocking supplies, assembling a safety kit and preparing an evacuation plan. Emergency kits should include water, food, clothing, first-aid supplies and a weather radio. For more information, visit NOAA’s Hurricane Preparedness Web site.

Public Comments Requested for NC CELCP Draft Plan

DCM is seeking public comments on the North Carolina Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program (CELCP) draft plan. CELCP was established by Congress “for the purpose of protecting important coastal and estuarine areas that have significant conservation, recreation, ecological, historical, or aesthetic values, or that are threatened by conversion from their natural or recreational state to other uses.”

The plan identifies areas in which the state will focus its conservation efforts.  Focus areas were selected in collaboration with several state and federal agencies, land trusts and environmental organizations.  Through the program, DCM has already applied for federal grants to help acquire three parcels of land, one each in Gates, Tyrrell and Pender counties.   If the application is successful, the state could be awarded up to $8.4 million in FY 2007, which would be used to purchase the lands for permanent conservation.   Subject to congressional appropriations, grant funds will be available on annual basis.

The CELCP Plan is being developed according to NOAA federal guidelines.  The guidelines outline the criteria and process for eligible coastal states to develop a state coastal and estuarine land conservation plan, nominate land conservation projects to a national competitive process and for NOAA to select projects at the national level for funding.

DCM welcomes your input during this formal comment period. Please provide comments by June 10 to CELCP project coordinator Tancred Miller (tancred.miller@ncmail.net, (252) 808-2808).
 

Schools Turn Out Online for EstuaryLIVE May 2-4

EstuaryLive at the Rachel Carson Estuarine Research Reserve was a great success thisspring, highlighting topics such as conservation, invasive species, fossils, coastal geology and water quality. The event was live for three days with an estimated audience of more than 2,000 teachers and students.

The online education program brought the Rachel Carson Reserve to classroom computers across the state and country as students participated in virtual field trips during the May event.

Presenters included Dr. Jeff Warren of Coastal Management; Dr. Dan Rittschoff of Duke Marine Lab; Robert Frederick and John Cole from the Newport National Weather Service, NOAA; Anne Deaton from N.C. Marine Fisheries; Pam Morris and Anthony Brooks from the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum; and National Estuarine Research Reserve staff.
 

Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve Hosts Earth Day 8K

Saturday morning, April 22, 77 runners and 30 volunteers participated in the first annual Kitty Hawk Woods Earth Day 8K Run. The Carolina Estuarine Reserve Foundation, the nonprofit partner of the North Carolina Coastal Reserve and North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve, coordinated the event.  Exactly 31 minutes and 9 seconds after Kitty Hawk mayor Clifton Perry shot the starting gun, first place winner M.C. Thomas sprinted across the finish line.

Participants and spectators enjoyed refreshments and bagels donated by a local market, and participants and volunteers received a goody bag, a race T-shirt and a pair of socks from the title sponsor, SmartWool. 

The overall female and male winners received a trophy, a certificate for a new pair of running shoes, a dinner certificate to a local restaurant and an item of apparel. Within each age bracket, first, second and third place winners received a Kitty Hawk Woods Earth Day 8K medal. Results and pictures are posted on CERF’s Web site, www.cerf.us. 

The festivities continued after the race at a post-race party with live music by national recording artistWatershed. Participants enjoyed pizza while they browsed through the silent auction goods, listened to music and looked at the overall race results. 

The local community responded to the Kitty Hawk Woods 8K with enthusiasm and support. This event was a great success thanks to the all of our terrific local sponsors.
 

DCM, NC Big Sweep Co-sponsor Marina Monofilament Recycling Program

In an effort to reduce marine debris in coastal waters, DCM is partnering with NC Big Sweep to install monofilament-recycling containers at several coastal marinas as part of the division’s Clean Marina program.

In addition to providing marinas with a customized recycling bin for fishermen to dispose of their used fishing line, marinas are also provided postage-paid mailing tubes to send the used line to Berkely’s PureFishing division for recycling.

To date, 20 marinas are participating, and DCM hopes to have a total of 50 enrolled in the program by July.
 

Legislative News

Three bills affecting coastal issues have been filed so far during the current session of the General Assembly:

Senate Bill 2014 would require that a permit be issued authorizing an undercurrent stabilization system along the oceanfront of North Topsail Beach. 

House Bill 2815 would increase the cap on civil penalties for CAMA permit violations.   The bill would increase the maximum penalty for CAMA major permit violations from $2,500 to $20,000 and for minor permits from $250 to $2,000.  

House Bill 2597 seeks to establish a waterfront access study committee to study the loss of diversity of uses along the coastal shoreline of North Carolina and how these losses impact the public trust waters of the state.
 

Clean Beaches Week is June 29-July 5

The Clean Beaches Council is sponsoring National Clean Beaches Week from June 29 – July 5, 2006. Throughout the week at congressional briefings and other related events, CBC will highlight four major themes of importance to beachgoers travel/leisure, healthy seafood/dining, recreation and environment. North Carolina is one of several states to issue proclamations honoring Clean Beaches Week this year. The proclamation reads as follows:

CLEAN BEACHES WEEK
2006
BY THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
A PROCLAMATION

  WHEREAS, the Clean Beaches Council, as part of the Great Outdoors Month has designated the week beginning June 29, 2006, as National Clean Beaches Week; and

    WHEREAS, individuals, communities and government have undertaken significant measures to keep beaches clean and healthy; and

    WHEREAS, North Carolina is blessed with 320 miles of ocean beaches and more than 4,000 miles of estuarine shoreline, according to the N.C. Division of Coastal Management; and

    WHEREAS, North Carolina beaches are the most popular tourist destination in the state and contribute significant resources to the local, state and national economy; and

    WHEREAS, seventy-five percent of all recreational activity occurs within a half mile corridor around the shorelines of North Carolina’s beaches, rivers and lakes, according to the N.C. Division of Tourism; and

    WHEREAS, coastal tourism and healthy seafood fuels robust economies that sustain communities and support jobs along the North Carolina coast; and

    WHEREAS the beaches of North Carolina are an integral part of the state’s culture and natural heritage, as well as being critical to our $2.6 billion tourism industry, according to the N.C. Division of Tourism; 

    NOW, THEREFORE, I, MICHAEL F. EASLEY, Governor of North Carolina do hereby proclaim the week of June 29-July 5, 2006, “CLEAN BEACHES WEEK” in North Carolina, and I encourage all residents of the State of North Carolina to visit, enjoy and protect our greatest natural resource.

In the 1980s, Beach Vitex (Vitex rotundifolia) was imported for use as a beach stabilization plant in the southeastern U.S. By the mid-1990s, plant specialists began to notice Beach Vitex spreading on state beaches where it was crowding out native species like Sea Oats. Beach Vitex does not appear to trap wind blown sand as efficiently as these native species. Volunteers have observed lower dune profiles on sections of dune where Beach Vitex has crowded out native vegetation.


Identifying Beach Vitex

Beach Vitex is a woody shrub from the Pacific Rim that is spreading rapidly along our beaches and poses a threat to native plants and animals. Although not yet officially classified as an invasive species, Beach Vitex is causing major concern along the coast of both North and South Carolina.

How to Identify Beach Vitex

· Oval-shaped, semi-waxy, opposite (as opposed to alternate) leaves

· Underside of leaves is a lighter green

· Has a woody stem

· Purple flower in summer

· Deciduous (dies back in winter)

· Distinctive eucalyptus-like scent when leaves are crushed
 

Briefly ...

Four Coastal Counties Among Fastest Growing in N.C.
Recently the U.S. Census Bureau released new 2005 population estimates for U.S. counties. Four CAMA counties are in the top 15 fastest-growing counties in North Carolina, based on percent change from 2000 to 2005:

1. Union (31.6%)
2. Camden (30.2%)
3. Currituck (27.1%)
4. Hoke (21.9%)
5. Brunswick (21.9%)
6. Johnston (20.1%)
7. Wake (19.3%)
8. Chatham (17.6%)

9. Franklin (15.2%)
10. Iredell (14.9%)
11. Cabarrus (14.6%)
12. Mecklenburg (14.5%)
13. Harnett (13.9%)
14. Lee (13.2%)
15. Dare (13.1%)
 


N.C. Sea Grant hosts Changing Waterfront Forum in June
“North Carolina’s Changing Waterfronts: Coastal Access and Traditional Uses” will highlight model programs in Florida and Maine June 5 at the New Bern Riverfront Convention Center. Hosted by North Carolina Sea Grant, the forum will feature representatives from two programs that have developed comprehensive strategies for managing competing uses of waterfront property.

The forum also will include a stakeholder panel on issues facing North Carolina’s waterfront communities, as well as sessions on incentive-based and governmental actions.
 

Dr. Beach names best beaches
A North Carolina beach is once again counted among the nation’s best. Ocracoke Island ranked third on the annual list of “America’s Best Beaches,” down from number two last year. The annual list is compiled by coastal researcher Dr. Stephen Leatherman, a.k.a. “Dr. Beach.” Leatherman, a professor at Florida International University, ranks the nation’s 650 beaches using 50 criteria. Fleming Beach Park in Maui, Hawaii took top honors this year.


Staff News

Mark Hardeman andBill Arrington, field representatives in the Morehead City Office, have left DCM for positions in the private sector.

Jaye Poole, DCM’s administrative officer, has left for a new job in DENR’s budget office.

John Vine Hodge, community planner in the Raleigh Office, has left DCM for another planning position.

Doug Coker, education coordinator for the NC NERR, has left DCM to join a family business.

Dale Schmidtjoined the Morehead City office May 8 as DCM’s new administrative officer.

Heather Coats has joined the Wilmington office as a field representative.

Ted Sampson, manager of the Elizabeth City office, has retired from DCM effective May 31.

Wanda Gooden, DOT field representative in Elizabeth City, has been called to active duty with the U.S. Air Force. She is currently serving with an F-15 Maintenance Group in Georgia.

Stephanie Bodine, Director’s assistant in Morehead City, married Wilson Bowling Jr. on April 29. Stephanie will be leaving DCM at the end of June to move to California with her new husband.

The DCM baby boom continues:
Rich Weaver, major permits coordinator in the Morehead City Office, and his wife Lexia, welcomed their new son, Aiden Thomas on March 6.

Jeff Warren, coastal hazards specialist in the Raleigh Office, and his wife Missy, welcomed their new son, Chapman Graves on April 9. Jeff also received his Ph.D. in Geological Science in April.
 

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