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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - 09 2016 NR Archives

Marine Fisheries

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Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Sept. 12, 2016
Phone: 252-726-7021

Gene Maready named Marine Patrol Officer of the Year

MOREHEAD CITY — Officer Gene Maready received the 2016 Marine Fisheries Enforcement Officer of the Year award from the Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards Program Saturday. The Governor’s Conservation Achievement Awards, presented by the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, honor individuals, associations, businesses and others who have exhibited unwavering commitment to conservation in the state.

Maready, a member of the Marine Patrol for 10 years who patrols the Alligator River and Albemarle Sound area, is flattered that his fellow officers elected him for this distinction.

“I’m just honored to even be put in for it,” Maready said.

Maready is known for the many cases he has solved involving the illegal use and/or abandonment of commercial fishing gear, violations of size and creel limits, recreational and commercial license violations, the illegal sale of seafood and larceny of gear. Sometimes, solving these cases involved undercover operations.

Maready also serves as a field training officer for new hires and he participates in the newly formed Marine Patrol Education Team, visiting civic groups, schools and expos to promote the mission of the Marine Patrol and to educate the public on fisheries resources, rules, regulations and laws. 

In a particularly notable case earlier this year, Maready saved a fisherman from possible hypothermia. After receiving a call about a commercial fisherman who was overdue on a cold winter day, Maready went to the area where he thought this fisherman would most likely have been fishing. He found the fisherman’s sunken boat, and then shortly afterward, found the fisherman in a nearby marsh. Maready took the wet and cold fisherman to dry land to meet his family. It was late in the afternoon when the fisherman was found and temperatures were expected to be near freezing that night.

Maready grew up in the Beulaville area graduated from East Duplin High School in 1988.

After high school, he joined the U.S. Air Force and served in Operation Desert Storm. While in the Air Force, he was a part of the security police unit. 

When he left the military, Maready enrolled at Wayne Community College to study Fish and Wildlife Management; however, the program was cancelled before he could finish his degree. He then entered into the Basic Law Enforcement Training program there, and graduated in 1993. That same year, he was hired by the Duplin County Sheriff’s Department. In his 13 years with the sheriff’s office, he moved up the ranks to sergeant, worked as a detective in the Investigations Division, and then was lieutenant over the Patrol Division.

Becoming a Marine Patrol officer allowed Maready to combine his law enforcement experience with his original goal of working in fish and wildlife management.

Maready lives in Columbia with his wife, Christy; daughter, Zoe, 12: and son Gabriel, 17.

Download a high resolution photo of Maready at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/douglas-maready-photo.

nr-67-2016


Release: Immediate
Contact: Erin Bryan-Millush / J.D. Potts
Date:  Sept. 7, 2016
Phone: 252-726-6827 exts. 8153 / 8154

Bacterial levels at most ocean beaches in state meet
recreational water quality standards

MOREHEAD CITY — State recreational water quality officials today announced that bacterial levels at all ocean beaches in Currituck, Dare, Hyde, Carteret, Onslow and Pender counties meet the state’s and Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for swimming and water play.

Bacterial levels at Oak Island, Yaupon Beach and Caswell Beach in Brunswick County also meet swimming standards.

On Sept. 3, state officials recommended that the public avoid swimming in all coastal waters statewide due to high rainfall and flooding from Tropical Storm Hermine that may have led to excessive bacteria in the water. Floodwaters and stormwater runoff can contain pollutants such as waste from septic systems and sewer line breaks, pet and wildlife waste, petroleum products and other chemicals that can make people sick.

The recommendation remains in effect for all sound-side waters statewide and for ocean-side waters in New Hanover and the remaining portion of Brunswick County. Water samples from the ocean beaches in New Hanover County and the remainder of Brunswick County have been collected and test results will be final later this week. 

Additionally, two advisories remain in effect in Dare County: Jockey’s Ridge sound-side access and Colington Harbour, both in Nags Head. State officials will continue testing these sites, and will remove the signs and notify the public when the bacteria levels decrease to levels within the state and federal standards.

Recreational water quality officials sample 204 sites throughout the coastal region, most of them on a weekly basis from April to October. Testing continues on a reduced schedule during the rest of the year, when waters are colder.

For more information about coastal recreational water quality, visit the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program’s website at: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/recreational-water-quality or on Twitter.com @ncrecprgm.

nr-66-2016


Release: Immediate
Contact: Patricia Smith
Date: Sept. 3, 2016
Phone: 252-342-0642

Excessive rains may cause pollution in ocean and
sound-side swimming waters

MOREHEAD CITY — State officials are recommending that the public avoid swimming in all coastal waters statewide due to high rainfall and flooding from Tropical Storm Hermine that may have led to excessive bacteria in the water.

Floodwaters and storm water runoff often contain pollutants, such as waste from septic systems, sewer line breaks, pet and wildlife feces, petroleum products, and other chemicals that can make people sick. Typically, the risk of illness grows with rainfall amounts.

The public should avoid swimming in coastal waters until bacteriological testing indicates bacteria levels fall within the state’s and the Environmental Protection Agency’s standards for swimming and water play. People should especially avoid swimming near storm water outfalls and inlets as these areas tend to have concentrated amounts of pollutants.

The towns of Carolina Beach and Oak Island have begun pumping floodwaters to the beach and more may do so as the day continues. These areas, including the wet sand where the floodwater is pumped, should be avoided, even if no sign is posted.

The Division of Marine Fisheries’ Recreational Water Quality Program staff will test swimming waters and notify the public of the results. Staff will test ocean swimming areas first as these areas typically return to normal conditions faster than those of rivers, sounds and creeks.

The Recreational Water Quality Program in the Division of Marine Fisheries samples 204 sites at ocean and sound beaches weekly from April to October in accordance with federal and state laws. For more information about coastal recreational water quality, visit the N.C. Recreational Water Quality Program’s website at http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/mf/recreational-water-quality or on Twitter.com @ncrecprgm.

nr-65-2016

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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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