Friday, March 31, 2023

Play

Donald Trump indicted by Manhattan grand jury, Georgia campaign fights to reopen local hospitals, and New Mexico creates first-ever $100M conservation fund.

Play

Former President Donald Trump is indicted by Manhattan's district attorney, House Republicans take aim at renewables in new energy bill and House Dems introduce the Women's Protection Health Act.

Play

Small towns respond to a hidden housing and homelessness crisis, a new national weather prediction system will help close the gap between urban and rural forecasting, and more rural communities are eligible for a design project to boost economic development.

Underwater Seagrass: NC’s Best-Kept Secret for Protecting Shorelines

Play

Friday, June 14, 2019   

HAVELOCK, N.C. – At a summit this week on coastal resilience, some scientists point to underwater seagrasses as an important tool for protecting shorelines from hurricanes and other extreme weather events.

Underwater seagrasses may be difficult to spot, but the North Carolina coast is home to hundreds of thousands of acres of lush water-dwelling vegetation. Retired National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration marine scientist Jud Kenworthy says seagrass meadows have strong roots that hold sediment in place and help coastal systems withstand high winds and forceful waves.

"As an alternative, a natural alternative to shoreline protection, seagrasses are sort of the first line of defense before we get to the shore," says Kenworthy.

Last year, Gov. Roy Cooper issued an executive order calling for the state to take steps to prepare for increased flooding, extreme weather and rising sea levels in the face of a changing climate. Kenworthy says conserving seagrasses could be one of the most effective ways to keep North Carolina's shorelines intact.

Tancred Miller, manager of Coastal and Ocean Policy for the North Carolina's Department of Environmental Quality, says the state has been working on innovative ways to help coastal communities adapt to natural hazards and long-term shifts in shoreline ecosystems.

"We also with climate change have habitat transition,” says Miller. “So, things are going from forest to wetland, from wetland to open water. We have habitat changes, so we need to think about all these things – not just at the individual property level, but also at the community level, the county level and ultimately, the entire coast."

Next year, the state will update its Coastal Habitat Protection Plan, which includes seagrasses as one key habitat to conserve.

People living in coastal areas may not realize that seagrasses anchor a healthy ecosystem. Bill Crowell, the director of the state's Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership, describes it as an indicator of healthy water and thriving marine life.

"So the thing that you can do to help keep it there is one, don't disturb it, don't run your boat props through it,” says Crowell. “But the number one thing I think people can do is make sure that the water quality off the land is good – reducing storm water, reducing pollutants coming into the water."

Seagrass meadows are found in nearly every coastal state, but have been disappearing for decades. Studies have found that farm run-off, sewage and other pollutants are harming them.

Crowell points out it can take months or years for seagrasses to recover from damage – and once they are gone, it's difficult to grow them back.

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


get more stories like this via email

Parents, students and teachers are raising concerns over proposed education policies in the Sunshine State. (Pixabay)

Social Issues

Some students, parents and educators plan to rally to send a message to Gov. Ron DeSantis on April Fools' Day. The group of unions, parents and …


Health and Wellness

Small-business owners in North Carolina are reaching out to legislators for help, citing hospital mergers as one reason their health-care costs are …

Environment

A REASONS TO BE CHEERFFUL/SOLUTIONS JOURNALISM NETWORK/WISCONSIN NEWS CONNCECTION COLLABORATION Milwaukee is tied to a wave of freeway removals in th…


Initial money through the American Rescue Plan Act provided education funding to 140 school districts in Tennessee to support post-pandemic academic recovery, student mental health and schools' ability to reopen safely. (f11photo/Adobe Stock)

Social Issues

Tennesseans aren't the only ones mourning the tragic loss of three children and three adults at this week's shooting at Nashville's Covenant School…

Health and Wellness

Doctors in Iowa are studying the brains of babies to learn more about sleep patterns in adults and teens. The United Health Foundation reports one-…

While more than 3,500 people have been awarded the Medal of Honor since it was created by President Abraham Lincoln, only 65 of them are alive today. (The White House)

Social Issues

While National Medal of Honor Month is ending, plans to develop a museum and monument for the award are continuing. Numerous Medal of Honor …

Social Issues

Construction of the Medal of Honor Museum and Foundation is under way in Arlington, Texas - a place to pay tribute to those who've earned the …

Social Issues

Labor leaders in various industries recently celebrated the 85th anniversary of a federal law that laid the groundwork for registered apprenticeship p…

 

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