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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 02 2015 NR Archives

Marine Fisheries

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Media contact: Jodie B. Owen
N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission
919-707-0187
jodie.owen@ncwildlife.org

Patricia Smith
N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries
252-808-8025
tricia.smith@ncmail.net

Dorothy Hester
Dare County
252-475-5903
dorothy@darenc.com

NEWS RELEASE

Officials celebrate completion of Manns Harbor Access Area

MANNS HARBOR – State and local officials gathered at the foot of the William B. Umstead Memorial Bridge in Dare County Friday to celebrate the completion of the final phase of the Manns Harbor Boating Access Area project.

This multi-use facility provides both commercial and recreational access to Croatan Sound, as well as green space suitable for picnicking, wildlife viewing and launching canoes and kayaks. The final phase of the project, construction of commercial storage and docking facilities, was completed in September, and reflects many layers of collaboration between state and local agencies

“The resounding and unique success of this project is a tribute to the dedication of private citizens, small businesses, non-governmental organizations, and local and state governments working together with common purpose to ensure that all North Carolinians can access and enjoy our public trust waters,” said Gordon Myers, the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission’s executive director.   

The commercial portion of the boating access area consists of 300 feet of renovated bulkhead and shoreline docks, a new loading platform dock and a large gravel parking and storage area.

The first phase of the project, construction of recreational boating access, was completed in December 2012. It included three new boat ramps, two new floating docks, 300 feet of renovated bulkhead and shoreline docks and a gravel parking lot with 49 vehicle/trailer spaces and seven single car spaces.
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“The Manns Harbor project was a great opportunity to marry the needs of both the recreational and commercial communities, and I am proud to see it completed,” said Louis Daniel, director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries. “The improved access for recreational fishermen and the critical access supplied for the commercial industry will, hopefully, return Manns Harbor to its historical place as a vibrant, fishing community.”

The entire project resulted from a grass-roots effort by Dare County residents to purchase and restore an old marina that was once highly-used as a working waterfront.

"Dare County is thrilled with the transformation of the Manns Harbor Marina into a first class facility that will provide much needed access and serve the needs of our commercial and recreational fishermen," said Robert L. "Bob" Woodard, Sr, chairman of the Dare County Board of Commissioners.

The state purchased the 13.45-acre tract, off U.S. 64, in April 2009 with a $4 million grant from the Waterfront Access and Marine Industry Fund, administered by the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, and $335,000 from a Public Access Grant, administered by the Division of Coastal Management. The Division of Marine Fisheries provided another $40,000 from the Waterfront Access and Marine Industry Fund and a $20,000 Coastal Recreational Fishing License Grant for improvements on the site.

The Wildlife Commission contributed $1.3 million, with $360,000 coming from the Sport Fish Restoration Program and the remaining balance from wildlife receipts.
The entire facility complies with Americans with Disabilities Act guidelines.

Photos of the celebration may be downloaded at https://www.flickr.com/photos/ncwrc/sets/72157648475389973/.


Release: Immediate
Date: Feb. 6, 2015
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

Marine Fisheries Commission meeting slated for Feb. 18-20 in Wilmington

MOREHEAD CITY – The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission will meet Feb. 18-20 at the Hilton Wilmington Riverside Hotel, 301 North Water Street, Wilmington.

Public comment periods will be held at 6 p.m. Feb. 18 and 9 a.m. Feb. 19. The chairman will allow each speaker to comment for four minutes. Due to time constraints, those making comments will be asked to speak only once, either at the Feb. 18 or Feb. 19 session, but not during both public comment periods.

The Wednesday night public comment period will begin with an informal question and answer session at 6 p.m. Commission members and Division of Marine Fisheries staff will be available to answer questions from the public. The commission will hold a more formal public comment period at 6:30 p.m.

The deadline for submitting written correspondence to the commission, email or otherwise, through the Marine Fisheries Commission Office is 5 p.m. Feb. 16. Those who wish to give handouts to the commission during the public comment period should bring at least 12 copies of the handout.

The business meeting begins at 9 a.m. Feb. 19 and 8:30 a.m. Feb. 20.

The commission will offer a live webcast of the meeting. Up to 200 participants may listen to audio and view presentations in real-time on a first-come, first-served basis. Directions for participating in the webcast, including information on system requirements and testing, can be found at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/listen-online.

The commission is scheduled to give final approval of amendments to the state’s shrimp, bay scallop and river herring fishery management plans and the associated rules to implement the plans.

The commission is also scheduled to give final approval to several other rules, including rules to implement a for-hire logbook requirement and to implement an addendum to the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission Interstate Fishery Management Plan for American Eel.

A meeting agenda and a full briefing book can be found on the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/mfc-meetings.

For more information, contact Marine Fisheries Commission Liaison Nancy Fish at 252-808-8021 or Nancy.Fish@ncdenr.gov.


Release: Immediate
Date: Feb. 4, 2015
Contact: Patricia Smith
Phone: 252-726-7021

State to close more than 300,000 acres of coastal waters to shellfishing

MOREHEAD CITY – The state closed more than 300,000 acres of water bottom to shellfish harvests today as a way to save tax dollars with little impact to fishermen.

The closures – the result of funding cuts approved in last year’s state budget –impact areas of the Albemarle Sound, Currituck Sound, the upper Pungo River and the upper Neuse River. These waters have long been considered non-productive shellfish waters. Environmental conditions, such as salinity levels, are not conducive to growing oysters and clams, and little or no shellfish harvest occurs in these waters.

The closures eliminate 80 sampling sites, resulting in about 480 fewer water quality samples taken per year.

The associated reduction in staff, office and operation expense will save the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries about $148,239 per year. The division closed its Nags Head Shellfish Sanitation office in September and eliminated two technician positions that were based there. A third position was shifted to federal funding.

Division staff will continue to inspect processing plants in northeastern North Carolina. Staff will also continue collecting samples and conducting shoreline surveys in areas that are not closed to shellfishing.

In addition, staff will continue monitoring high-usage recreational water quality sites April through October. The sites that will be monitored include all ocean beaches from Corolla through Ocracoke, as well as Jockey’s Ridge and Colington Harbor sound-side sites. However, due to cuts in funding, the division will no longer sample 36 other, low-usage sound-side sites in Currituck, Albemarle, Croatan and Roanoke sounds.

A map of recreational water quality sampling sites that will still be tested can be found at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/testing-sites.

Regional maps delineating waters that are newly closed to shellfish harvest can be found at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/01-2015-pa-map-examples.

More detailed maps of open and closed shellfish harvesting areas can be found at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/shellfish-closure-maps.

For a list of the waters that are closing the shellfish harvest and their coordinates, see proclamation PA-PC-2015 at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/proclamations-polluted-areas.

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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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