CAMAgram - Winter 2009
Public Meetings Planned for Draft Beach and Inlet Management Plan
DCM and the Division of Water Resources will conduct a second set of meetings in March to update the public on the progress of the state’s Beach and Inlet Management Plan, a strategy for managing certain coastal areas.
Meetings will be held during the first two weeks of March at the following locations and dates:
DCM and DWR are developing the state’s first comprehensive Beach and Inlet Management Plan, a systematic management strategy for North Carolina’s 326 miles of oceanfront beaches and 19 active tidal inlet complexes. The plan divides the state’s coastal area into management regions and sub-regions.
The first set of public input meeting were held in early December and covered the collection of available relevant data, discussion of existing management strategies, and delineation of the management regions and sub-regions. The presentations and public comments from the December meetings are available on the project website,www.ncbimp.net.
The current meetings will highlight the management strategies being further developed for each region and sub-region together with economic valuation and funding options. As part of these strategies, Coastal Management and Water Resources will incorporate the ecological, economic and socio-political factors affecting beach and inlet management.
The meeting agenda and presentation summary will be available on the project website in the week prior to each meeting. This will be the last set of public meetings prior to the scheduled release of the BIMP in May 2009.
Ocean Policy Report Public Meetings
DCM and N.C. Coastal Resources Law, Planning and Policy Center will hold four public hearings in Feb. and March to gain public input on a draft report from the organizations’ Ocean Policy Steering Committee.
Two meetings were held last week in Pine Knoll Shores and Wilmington. Two more will be held at the following locations and times:
The committee was formed in 2008 to identify emerging environmental, legal and policy issues associated with the use and development of ocean resources in North Carolina’s coastal ocean waters and in adjacent federal waters. The emerging issue areas identified by the committee are sand resource management, alternative energy development, ocean outfalls, marine aquaculture and comprehensive ocean management. Since 2008, the 14-member committee has taken a comprehensive look at these emerging issues, and has just released a draft set of recommendations for managing North Carolina’s coastal waters. This effort is a partnership between DCM, N.C. Sea Grant and the N.C. Coastal Resources Law, Planning and Policy Center.
The report’s recommendations include development of a comprehensive plan to protect beaches and inlets, identification of available sand resources, creation of a coastal vulnerability index, and mapping of ocean resources. The report is available on DCM’s web site atwww.nccoastalmanagement.net/opscreport.pdf and at the Center’s website atwww.nccoastallaw.org.
CRC and CRAC advocate dedicated funding for beach and inlet management
At its February meeting, the Coastal Resources Commission, along with the Coastal Resources Advisory Council, approved a resolution requesting that the N.C. General Assembly establish a study commission that would lead to the creation of a Beach, Inlet and Waterway Trust Fund.
The resolution asks for an annual appropriation for the fund, to be used with federal and local matching funds for coastal infrastructure projects including, beach nourishment; removal of structures encroaching onto public beach areas; inlet channel realignment; dredging navigation channels in inlets and waterways; and public beach, inlet and waterway access. The funding could be used to support the Beach and Inlet Management Plan currently being developed by DCM and the Division of Water Resources.
According to the resolution, the comprehensive plan should include the following components:
1. Beach nourishment, removal of structures encroaching onto public beach areas, inlet channel realignment, dredging navigation channels in inlets and waterways, and public beach, inlet and waterway access; and
2. Potential revenue streams including state and/or local sales taxes, revenues generated from the Coastal Recreational Fishing License, or other appropriate sources, in order to provide a Permanent Trust Fund or other adequate funding for ongoing operations; and
3. A study commission membership that includes representatives of the Coastal Resources Commission, the Coastal Resources Advisory Council, the Division of Coastal Management and other private and public representatives as deemed appropriate; and
4. A 12-month timeline to complete the work of the study commission and to present a report to the General Assembly.
The complete text of the resolution is below:
North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission and
WHEREAS,North Carolina’s coastal area is one of the most desirable along the Atlantic Seaboard; and
WHEREAS,North Carolina's public beaches, inlets and waterways are vital to the State's tourism, commercial fishing and recreational boating industries, which are the dominant sources of income and employment in many coastal communities and counties; and
WHEREAS,North Carolina's public beaches, inlets and waterways belong to all the State's citizens and provide recreational and economic benefits to our residents statewide; and
WHEREAS,North Carolina's public beaches, inlets and waterways are valuable public trust resources of statewide significance that must be preserved and made accessible for use by the general public to enable their enjoyment; and
WHEREAS, North Carolina's public beaches, inlets and waterways serve vital infrastructure functions of transportation, storm protection, commerce and recreation; and
WHEREAS, it is in the public interest to properly manage North Carolina's public beaches, inlets and waterways for the benefit of all North Carolinians; and
WHEREAS,the degradation of these public trust resources threatens the economic viability of coastal communities and counties resulting in significant reductions in State tax revenues; and
WHEREAS, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has historically provided a significant share of funding to maintain North Carolina's public beaches, inlets and waterways; and
WHEREAS, continued federal partnership, including funding, is necessary to maintain North Carolina's public beaches, inlets and waterways; and
WHEREAS, other states along the Atlantic Seaboard have implemented coalitions of state and local funding that provide for the ongoing preservation, restoration, maintenance and accessibility of their beaches, inlets and coastal waterways; and
WHEREAS,in order to preserve the public's interest in North Carolina's public beaches, inlets and waterways, it is necessary to establish a comprehensive plan, including a dedicated funding source, that addresses preservation, restoration, maintenance and accessibility of these state assets;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission and the North Carolina Coastal Resources Advisory Council request that their member representatives in the North Carolina General Assembly establish a legislative study commission to prepare a comprehensive plan that leads to the creation of a North Carolina Beach, Inlet and Waterway Trust Fund with an annual appropriation, to be used with federal and local matching funds for the following coastal infrastructure projects: beach nourishment; removal of structures encroaching onto public beach areas; inlet channel realignment; dredging navigation channels in inlets and waterways; and public beach, inlet and waterway access.
This comprehensive plan should include, but not be limited to the following:
5. Beach nourishment, removal of structures encroaching onto public beach areas, inlet channel realignment, dredging navigation channels in inlets and waterways, and public beach, inlet and waterway access; and
6. Potential revenue streams including state and/or local sales taxes, revenues generated from the Coastal Recreational Fishing License, or other appropriate sources, in order to provide a Permanent Trust Fund or other adequate funding for ongoing operations; and
7. A study commission membership that includes representatives of the Coastal Resources Commission, the Coastal Resources Advisory Council, the Division of Coastal Management and other private and public representatives as deemed appropriate; and
8. A 12-month timeline to complete the work of the study commission and to present a report to the General Assembly.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission and the North Carolina Coastal Resources Advisory Council request that their member representatives in the North Carolina General Assembly and the Governor use all methods at the state’s disposal to secure continued federal participation in coastal infrastructure projects in the state.
Adopted this 12th day of February, 2009.
Pivers Island grant
The Clean Water Management Trust Fund Board has awarded DCM and its partners $496,000 for implementation of the stormwater plan on Pivers Island. The Division has formed a partnership with the NOAA Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research and the Duke University Marine Laboratory to develop a plan to implement innovative and state-of-the-art technologies to reduce stormwater runoff and aquaculture effluent into estuarine waters and reduce adverse environmental impacts of marine laboratory operations on Pivers Island, in Beaufort NC.
The grant, awarded through the Clean Water Management Trust Fund’s Innovative Stormwater Initiative, is a follow up to the successful completion of the stormwater master plan to Minimize Impacts to Surrounding Critical Estuarine Habitats –funded by the Trust fund in 2003.
As with the stormwater plan, this implementation project will utilize the educational and research expertise of institutions located on the Island to provide a public education model to support efforts to reduce the environmental impact of coastal development, as well as for future projects funded by the Clean Water Management Trust Fund.
Recent CRC rule changes
The following rule changes became effective Feb. 1:
15A NCAC 7H.1400 GP for Construction of Groins in Estuarine & Public Trust Waters
Changes to this rule result from the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan recommendation to encourage alternatives to vertical stabilization on estuarine shorelines. Changes include allowing materials other than wood, prescribing a maximum spacing and frequency, and clarifying how structures are measured.
15A NCAC 7H.2100 GP for Marsh Enhancement Breakwaters
Changes to this rule result from the CHPP recommendation that the CRC encourage alternatives to vertical stabilization structures on estuarine shorelines. Changes are definitional and to ensure consistency with other shore stabilization rules.
15A NCAC 7H.2400 GP for Placement of Riprap for Wetland Protection
Proposed changes to this rule result from the CHPP recommendation that the CRC encourage alternatives to vertical stabilization structures on estuarine shorelines. Proposed changes include a definitional clarification and changes to the dimensions and geometry of structures.
15A NCAC 7M.0300 Shorefront Access Policies
Amendments to 7M. 0300 establish a reporting requirement for user fees collected at state-funded access sites; give DCM the ability to take the lead in acquiring land and constructing access facilities without a city or county applicant; and include provisions to utilize funds outside the usual funding cycle in order to take advantage of unique opportunities.
The following rule changes became effective March 1:
15A NCAC 7J.0701 Variance Petitions
CRC adopted amendments to 7J.0701 that require claimants to initially file either a variance request or a contested case, and not pursue both options at the same time.
15A NCAC 7J.0703 Procedures for Deciding Variance Petitions
The amendments outline procedures for situations in which the Coastal Resources Commission cannot reach a final decision on a variance petition due to incomplete stipulated facts.
Rachel Carson Coastal Reserve hosts summer camps
This summer the Rachel Carson Coastal Reserve will again host educational programs for students of all ages. All classes will be hands-on, field-based estuarine studies.
Junior Naturalist Program
Beginning June 17, the Junior Naturalist program for students in grades 4-8 will run Wednesdays through August 5, from 9 a.m.-12 p.m. All classes will be held at the Reserve facility on Pivers Island in Beaufort. Students will conduct field investigations of estuaries. Activities will include marsh seining, water quality sampling, animal population studies, beach and marsh profiles, and phytoplankton identification. The cost for all eight sessions is $100.
Adventures in the Estuary
Two sessions of Adventures in the Estuary will be held this summer for students in grades 1-3. The first session will be June 16, 18, 23, and 25, and the second session will be August 4, 6, 11, and 13. Each session is $40 for all four classes. Classes are 9 a.m.–12 p.m.
Preschool Storytime and Crafts
For the youngest students, Preschool Storytime and Crafts will be held from 9-10 a.m. on June 15, July 13 and August 10. These sessions will include a story, estuarine critter observation and a related craft. All preschool sessions are free of charge, but registration is required. Topics will include hermit crabs, birds and snails.
All summer programs will be held at the Reserve’s classroom located on
NOAA to review N.C. NERR program in April
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will conduct its periodic review of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve Program during the week of April 20. The evaluation team will spend the week meeting with staff and partners, and visiting the Reserve sites to evaluate compliance with federal regulations, management plans, and grants. Public meetings will be held on April 21 in Wilmington and April 22 in Beaufort to provide the general public the opportunity to comment as required by the Coastal Zone Management Act. The public meetings will be held at the following locations and times:
April 21, 7 p.m.
Center for Marine Science Auditorium
University of North Carolina Wilmington
5600 Marvin K. Moss Lane
Wilmington, N.C. 28409
April 22, 7 p.m.
NOAA/NCNERR Administration Building Auditorium
Center for Coastal Fisheries and Habitat Research
101 Pivers Island Road
Beaufort, N.C. 28516
Coastal Reserve schedules Wilmington workshops
The N.C. Coastal Reserve will host a Southeast N.C. Red Fox Workshop April 1-2 at the New Hanover County Arboretum in Wilmington.
The purpose of this two-day workshop is to present information regarding red fox life history; impacts of foxes on other wildlife, and current management approaches. Workshop participants will discuss strategies for conducting public education, developing new management approaches, and identifying research needs. The intended audiences for the workshop include federal and state agencies, natural resource managers, and municipal officials responsible for land management in southeastern N.C.
On May 7, the Reserve will host a workshop on Coastal Growth Strategies for Elected Officials, also at the New Hanover County Arboretum in Wilmington.
Local elected officials are invited to attend this daylong course to identify strategies that integrate community water quality protection goals with growth and redevelopment. Highlights of the course include a case study of a county environmental review board and tour of water quality improvement projects in Wilmington. The course is co-sponsored by the N.C. Coastal Reserve, N.C. Sea Grant, and N.C. Coastal Federation.
Alex Houston started with the Coastal Reserve on January 5 and will be working for two years on the research and education components of the recently awarded grant to the Reserve and NOAA to study estuarine shoreline stabilization. Alex has a master’s degree in Wildlife Biology from Purdue University and has worked with N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission as an assistant waterbird biologist and for NOAA on sea turtles. She will work out of the Beaufort office.
Dr. Bo Dame is the Coastal Reserve’s new Northern Sites Manager. Bo began work on February 9 and is managing the three northern sites of the Reserve, Currituck Banks, Kitty Hawk, and Buxton Woods, from the Reserve’s office in Kitty Hawk. Bo has a B.S in Geological Sciences from Lehigh University, a M.A. in Marine Science from the VA Institute of Marine Science, and a Ph.D. from East Carolina University in Coastal Resources Management.