Friday, October 7, 2022

Play

Following a settlement with tribes, SD phases In voting-access reforms; older voters: formidable factor in Maine gubernatorial race; walking: a simple way to boost heart health.

Play

Biden makes a major move on marijuana laws; the U.S. and its allies begin exercises amid North Korean threats; and Generation Z says it's paying close attention to the 2022 midterms.

Play

Rural residents are more vulnerable to a winter wave of COVID-19, branding could be key for rural communities attracting newcomers, and the Lummi Nation's totem pole made it from Washington state to D.C.

NC’s Updated Coastal Habitat Plan Focuses on Seagrass, Local Solutions

Play

Tuesday, November 23, 2021   

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. -- North Carolina's Marine Fisheries Commission has approved an updated version of the state's Coastal Habitat Protection Plan, which experts say will improve the health of the state's wetlands and estuaries, and increase communities' resilience to climate change.

Leda Cunningham, officer for conserving marine life in the United States at The Pew Charitable Trusts, explained the plan includes new guidelines aimed at protecting seagrass, which filter out pollutants, improve water quality and help communities withstand increasing flood and sea-level rise from climate change by strengthening shorelines.

"I think it's really important for the public to understand that a healthy coastal environment can contribute to healthier coastal communities," Cunningham asserted.

The updated plan also includes information on how residents can design local projects and solutions to protect their estuaries.

Cunningham pointed to the Neuse River Basin as an example, and said communities could identify where additional vegetation could be planted along stream beds to help absorb and slow stormwater runoff and reduce algae blooms.

The plan also is in line with Gov. Roy Cooper's 2020 Climate Risk Assessment and Resilience Plan, which addressed the need to increase the resiliency of regions devastated by hurricanes.

Anne Deaton, habitat program supervisor of the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, said the state's valuable fisheries depend on the actions outlined in the updated plan.

"So if we are successful in implementation actions, it will improve our water quality, which will improve our habitat," Deaton explained. "That improves things like tourism, water-skiing and swimming, harvesting shellfish. It also increases the resilience of the coast when we have storms."

Cunningham emphasized she is excited about the plan's recommendation to forge a public-private partnership to maximize the interest and commitment of residents who want local solutions. She added many of the recommendations already are happening in coastal communities, and noted the state will begin working on water-quality rule-making recommendations next year.

"They're going to hit the ground running in January," Cunningham remarked. "That's going to take really pulling together between the environmental management commission, DEQ staff -- especially the division of water resources -- and this new public-private partnership that needs to get formed quickly and move things along."

According to the Department of Environmental Quality, the state has received more than 1,200 signatures from North Carolinians endorsing the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan.

Support for this reporting was provided by The Pew Charitable Trusts.

Disclosure: The Pew Charitable Trusts - Environmental Group contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy and Priorities, Climate Change/Air Quality, Consumer Issues, Endangered Species and Wildlife, Energy Policy, Environment, Health Issues, Public Lands/Wilderness, and Salmon Recovery. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


get more stories like this via email
In a recent lawsuit, a federal judge found nearly 10 examples in which the State of South Dakota had made it difficult for Native Americans to register to vote. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

This election season, South Dakota is starting to implement voting-access reforms in light of a recent settlement with Native American tribes…


Social Issues

Between rising inflation and the ups and downs of the stock market, it isn't surprising that folks are concerned about their own financial situation…

Social Issues

The U.S. Postal Service is hiring 28,000 seasonal employees ahead of the surge in end-of-year holiday letters and packages for facilities in Michigan …


The average monthly Social Security benefit in August was $1,546. (Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

The roughly 2.4 million Ohioans who rely on Social Security income are expected to get a big boost in benefits, but advocates for the program are …

Social Issues

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills and her challenger, former Republican Gov. Paul LePage, both are courting votes from Maine's largest contingency -- …

According to a 2021 study by the American Heart Association, people who take at least 7,000 steps a day have a 50% to 70% lower risk of dying than those who take fewer daily steps. (Adobe Stock)

Health and Wellness

Even for Virginians who think they're too busy to exercise, experts say there's one surefire way to squeeze in a modest workout: walking. Although …

Social Issues

Groups challenging the criminal consequences for failing to pay rent in Arkansas say they'll take another run at it, perhaps as a class-action …

Social Issues

Wisconsin is one of 33 states allowing Social Security benefits to be extended to teachers. As the future of the program is debated, a retired …

 

Phone: 303.448.9105 Toll Free: 888.891.9416 Fax: 208.247.1830 Your trusted member- and audience-supported news source since 1996 Copyright 2021