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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Coastal Management - summer05

Coastal Management

CAMAgram - Summer 2005

Tomlinson receives Eure-Gardner Award for significant contributions to protection of the N.C. coast

The N.C. Coastal Resources Commission has bestowed its highest honor, theEure-Gardner award, on former CRC chairman Gene Tomlinson. The award was presented at the June 16 CRC meeting in Greenville.

A member of the CRC since 1977, Tomlinson has been active in coastal issues throughout his life. He served as CRC chairman from 1993 to March 2005. A native of Fayetteville, Tomlinson has spent most of his life in Southport, and was mayor of Southport for several years.

The Eure-Gardner award is bestowed on those individuals and organizations that have made significant contributions to protecting the natural, cultural and economic resources of the coastal area. It is named for Thomas Eure, the first chairman of the CRC, and William Gardner, a longtime member and former chairman of the Coastal Resources Advisory Council.

Ruffin Poole, legal counsel to the governor, presented Tomlinson with the Order of the Long Leaf Pine, the state’s highest honor, recognizing his many years of service to North Carolina.
 

Coastal Resources Commission news

Gore appointed to CRC
Gov. Mike Easley has appointed Joseph Gore of Supply to the Coastal Resources Commission. Gore is a special assistant to the president of Brunswick Community College.  He fills an “at-large” seat, and his term expires June 30, 2008.

With this appointment, all 15 CRC positions are filled.

Langford elected vice chair
Douglas Langford of Nags Head was elected vice chair of the CRC during the June 16 commission meeting in Greenville. Langford is the owner of Langford & Company Realty. He is a past president of the Outer Banks Association of Realtors and has served as the state director for the North Carolina Association of Realtors.
 

CRC adopts CHPP funding resolution

At its June meeting, the Coastal Resources Commission unanimously voted to adopt a resolutionrequesting that the proceeds from the N.C. Coastal Recreational Fishing License be distributed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources toward the implementation of the recommendations of the N.C. Coastal Habitat Protection Plan. Pending Senate legislation directs proceeds from the fishing license to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

With the recent passage of the CHPP, implementation of the recommendations will involve new program activities and revised priorities for existing programs within DENR and other agencies.  Significant funding will be essential to coordinate and expand DENR biological, physical and water quality monitoring data and evaluate human impacts on coastal habitats, as well as expand and improve enforcement and compliance monitoring to fully implement existing laws and rules.  As little funding has been included in the proposed state budget for implementation of the CHPP, the Coastal Resources Commission feels it is imperative that the proceeds from the Coastal Recreational Fishing License be distributed by DENR.

Resolution of the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission
Requesting Saltwater Fishing License Proceeds
Support Implementation of the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan

  WHEREAS, North Carolina’s coastal fisheries are among the most productive in the United States because of the wide variety of habitats available, the largest estuarine system of any single Atlantic coast state and the location of North Carolina at the transition between mid-Atlantic and south Atlantic regions, and;

  WHEREAS, Estuarine-dependent species comprise more than 90% of North Carolina’s commercial fisheries landings and over 60% of the recreational harvest, and;

  WHEREAS, the 1997 Fisheries Reform Act required the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to develop a Coastal Habitat Protection Plan for the long-term enhancement of coastal fisheries and their habitats, and;

  WHEREAS, the three regulatory commissions (Marine Fisheries, Coastal Management and Environmental Management Commissions) have adopted and have begun to implement the NC Coastal Habitat Protection Plan as required by the 1997 Fisheries Reform Act, and;

 WHEREAS, implementation of the recommendations within the NC Coastal Habitat Protection Plan will involve new program activities and revised priorities for existing programs within DENR and other agencies.  Significant new funding is essential to coordinate and expand DENR biological, physical and water quality monitoring data, evaluate human impacts on coastal habitats, as well as expand and improve enforcement and compliance monitoring to fully implement existing laws and rules, and;

 WHEREAS, the NC Coastal Habitat Protection Plan cites proceeds from a Coastal Recreational Fishing License as a possible source of funds to manage coastal fish habitats and promote environmental education and outreach, and;

 WHEREAS, Senate Bill 1126 establishes the North Carolina Marine Resources Endowment Fund from the proceeds of the sale of a Coastal Recreational Fishing License, and;

 WHEREAS, the purpose of the North Carolina Marine Resources Endowment Fund is to provide the citizens and residents of the State with the opportunity to invest in the future of the marine resources of the State, and;

 WHEREAS, the three commissions which prepared and adopted the NC Coastal Habitat Protection Plan, are organized under the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

  THEREFORE, IT IS HEREBY RESOLVED THAT,the Coastal Resources Commission requests that the proceeds from the Coastal Recreational Fishing License be distributed by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources toward the implementation of the recommendations of the NC Coastal Habitat Protection Plan.

Recreational water quality testing results now available online

Planning to dip your toes in the ocean this summer? You may want to check out the water quality before you hit the beach.

The N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program began testing coastal waters in 1997. Its mission is to protect the public health by monitoring the quality of N.C.'s coastal recreational waters and notifying the public when bacteriological standards for safe bodily contact are exceeded. The coastal waters monitored include the ocean beaches, sounds, bays and estuarine rivers.

The program tests 241 ocean and sound-side areas for enterococcus bacteria, an indicator organism found in the intestines of warm-blooded animals. While it will not cause illness itself, its presence is correlated with that of organisms that can cause illness. Swimming season runs from April 1 to Sept. 30, and all ocean beaches and high-use sound-side beaches are tested weekly during that time. Lower-use beaches are tested twice a month. All sites are tested twice a month in October and monthly from November through March. The results for all sampling are posted on the program’s new Web site.
 

Rachel Carson Reserve hosts public field trips this summer

The Rachel Carson Reserve Site staff will offer free public field trips again this summer. Trained volunteer naturalists lead these walking and boating field trips every Tuesday and Thursday through Aug. 30. On a walking field trip, visitors have the opportunity to come face-to-face with many estuarine plants and animals as well as walk through salt marsh, barrier island and sand dune habitats. The boat trip offers a waterside view of the town of Beaufort, the Rachel Carson Reserve, Shackleford Banks and Fort Macon. For more information or to sign up, call the Reserve office at (252) 728-2170.
 

EstuaryLive Spring 2005

EstuaryLive at the Rachel Carson Reserve was a great success this spring, highlighting topics such as oyster habitat, coastal geology, water quality and blue crabs. The event was live for three days with an estimated audience of 1,140 people.

Presenters included Jeff Warren of Coastal Management; Dr. Dan Rittschoff of Duke Marine Lab; Ted Wilgis and Sarah Phillips from the N.C. Coastal Federation; Robert Frederick from the Newport National Weather Service, NOAA; Pam Morris and Anthony Brooks from the Core Sound Waterfowl Museum; Dominick Brugnolotti of Duke Marine Lab and Sandy Feat; and National Estuarine Research Reserve staff. 
 

DCM island cleanup on the Rachel Carson Reserve

On May 13, Coastal Management staff, Coastal Reserves staff and Rachel Carson Reserve volunteers chipped in to clean up Carrot Island, one of the five islands that comprise the Rachel Carson Reserve.

The cleanup was in celebration of this spring’s Earth Day and was a great opportunity for staff and volunteers to network, explore the Reserve and do something good for our coastal environment. Thanks to all who participated!
 

Reserve site profiles, habitat mapping to be conducted this summer

The research staff of the Reserve will be busy this summer categorizing and mapping the N. C. National Estuarine Research Reserve sites. The categorizing, known as a site profile, is required by the Reserve’s federal partner, the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration, and describes the ecological, biological and cultural significance of the NERR sites. Site profiles will be conducted on Currituck Banks, located just north of Corolla; the Rachel Carson Reserve, located in Beaufort; and Masonboro Island and Zeke’s Island, located in the Wilmington region.

Habitat mapping will provide a detailed description of the various habitats found on each NERR site. Staff members will traverse the islands using global positioning systems (GPS) to record individual points. At each point staff members will note the type of soil, the amount and species of vegetation, the presence of any animals, etc. All of the data points will be uploaded into a computer to create an overall map. This map will then serve as a guide to all interested parties as to what type of habitats, plants and animals can be seen on the NERR sites. The maps will also be used as a baseline for comparison against future site alterations. This will allow the Reserve to monitor how the NERR sites are changing through time due to both natural and anthropogenic factors.

For more information on site profiles and habitat mapping, contact the Reserve research coordinator at (252) 808-2808. Once complete, the site profiles will be available on the Reserve Web site.
 

Clean Beaches Week

The Clean Beaches Council is sponsoring National Clean Beaches Week from June 27 – July 3, 2005. Throughout the week at congressional briefings and other related events, CBC will highlight four major themes of importance to beachgoers: environment, travel, healthy seafood and recreation. North Carolina is one of several states to issue proclamations honoring Clean Beaches Week this year. The proclamation reads as follows:

CLEAN BEACHES WEEK
2005
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 27, 2005 as National Clean Beaches Week; and

 WHEREAS, 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 nearly 4,000 miles of estuarine shoreline; 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; and

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

 NOW, THEREFORE, I, MICHAEL F. EASLEY, Governor of North Carolina do hereby acknowledge the week of June 27, 2005 “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.
 

Briefly …

New coastal group formed
The N.C. Shore & Beach Preservation Association; the Alliance for North Carolina Inlets; the N.C. Coastal Communities Coalition; and the Congressional Coastal Action and Advisory Committee have combined into a new organization calling itself the N.C. Beach Inlet & Waterway Association. The new group intends to serve as "one effective voice for the North Carolina coast" promoting governmental action, financing, education and advocacy for solutions to threatened beaches, inlets and coastal waterways.

Dr. Beach names best beaches
A North Carolina beach is once again counted among the nation’s best. Ocracoke Island ranked second on the annual list of “America’s Best Beaches,” up from No. three 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. Fort DeSoto Park-North Beach in St. Petersburg, Fla. took top honors this year.

NOAA appropriations
The House Appropriations Committee has approved a FY06 appropriation of $3.43 billion for NOAA, which is $496 million below FY05 and $152 million below the president’s request. Based on initial reports, CZMA grants are slated for a $2 million cut. Other key programs subject to the steepest cuts include a 40 percent cut for the National Marine Sanctuaries program, a 93 percent cut for the Coastal and Estuarine Land Conservation Program, and no funding for Coastal Non-point Improvement Grants.

Federal marine legislation
Federal lawmakers have introduced two bills aimed at ramping up research and support for marine programs. Both bills push for a beefed-up role for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and greater research, investment and protection of ocean resources. And each comes in response to separate calls last year by the nonprofit Pew Oceans Commission and the U.S. Commission on Ocean Policy for better ecosystem-based management.

The House proposal, known as OCEANS-21, would establish a national policy to "protect, maintain and restore the health of marine ecosystems," put ecosystem-based management as a top priority, raise the profile of NOAA and create a Cabinet-level committee on ocean policy.

The second bill, introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer of California, would restructure oceans governance, making NOAA independent and creating a Council on Ocean Stewardship. The bill revamps fishery management, creates coral protection areas and authorizes funding for grants to reduce water pollution and improve monitoring.
 

Staff news

DCM’s staff attorney in the Attorney General’s office, Merrie Jo Alcoke, has relocated from Raleigh to the Morehead City Office.

Caroline Bellis has moved from her field representative position in Wilmington to the cumulative and secondary impacts analyst position in Raleigh. Caroline is currently on medical leave, but will move to the Raleigh office when she returns to work.

Aida Khalil has joined the Raleigh office as a summer intern with the Coastal Hazards program.  Aida received her bachelor's degree with honors in Madrid, Spain, and presently is finishing her master's degree in environmental monitoring, modeling and management at King's College University in London. Aida's summer project will focus on different shoreline interpretation and measurement techniques in addition to the comparison of long- and short-term shoreline trends for seven inlets.

Fred Landa is the new district planner for the Washington Office. Fred comes to us from the state of Maine's Land Use Planning & Coastal Program, where he was a senior planner.

Patrick Limber will be joining the Coastal Hazards program in Raleigh this August as our 2005-2007 NOAA Coastal Services Fellow. Patrick will work on an ambitious project entitled "Assessment of the North Carolina Shoreline Datum: Implications of Evolving Methodologies and Technologies." Patrick is a coastal geologist with a master's degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz and a bachelor's degree with honors from the State University of New York at Purchase.

Sharon Madden is our new wetlands restoration intern. Sharon is currently pursuing her master's of environmental management in wetlands ecology and management at Duke University and is working with our wetland specialist in the Raleigh office

Congratulations toPaula May, our NERR research biologist in Wilmington, on her May 1 marriage to John Murray.

The Kitty Hawk Reserve office has three new employees this summer:

• Wes Stalls is an intern who will be conducting educational tours on Currituck Banks NERR boardwalk. Wes is a senior at N.C. State University, working on a degree in botany.

•  A second intern,Sydney Fleming, just graduated from UNC-Wilmington with a degree in environmental science. She will be working on projects specific to Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve.

• Ann Wunderly has joined the Reserve as our new environmental technician.  Ann has a master’s degree in meteorology and a bachelor’s degree in forestry. She is working onPhragmites australisremoval monitoring, setting up a marsh monitoring program and helping with the day-to-day management of the reserve sites.

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