Coastal commission delays vote on clarified septic rules

The state Coastal Resources Commission, when it met earlier this month, put off until next year any decision on proposed new septic system rules for oceanfront structures, changes drafted in response to recent sewage spills from erosion-compromised homes on the Outer Banks. The commission met Nov. 10 in Beaufort and took the Division of Coastal […]

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Lighthouse restoration needs exceed $8 million available

Cape Lookout National Seashore has about $8 million to go toward repairs of the 1859 lighthouse, but that’s not nearly enough to cover a total rehabilitation. Seashore Superintendent Jeff West said recently that not only does he and the rest of the folks at the park want to repair and renovate the 163-foot lighthouse, they […]

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Bill would fund efforts to support growing shellfish industry

Last year was a banner year for farmed oyster production in North Carolina, with a 111% increase compared to the previous year. The state’s shellfish industry had $27 million in economic impact and supported 532 jobs in 2019, according to the latest available economic totals, and various groups are working together to double the number […]

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Highly infectious virus spreads among wild birds on coast

Coastal North Carolina’s wild birds and commercial poultry have not been immune to the outbreak of the highly pathogenic avian influenza. The virus, often called bird flu, can be fatal for poultry, especially backyard or commercial flocks, but doesn’t appear to be a threat to humans or other animals. While there are no reported positive […]

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Commission approves turnaround area, sandbags for NC 12

The Coastal Resources Commission has given the state Department of Transportation approval to build a turnaround area for traffic where the existing part of N.C. 12 will come to a dead end after the Rodanthe “jug handle” bridge opens to vehicles, and to protect the turnaround from erosion, it is allowing construction of an unusual […]

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Transportation design with resilience in mind goal of effort

Roadway flooding can happen year-round, but increasingly extreme weather most scientists attribute to climate change has made the vulnerability of coastal roads a clearer and more pressing problem. Tim Hass, communications officer for the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Division 1, which covers the northeastern part of the state and the Outer Banks, recently told […]

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Geographer explains origins of Outer Banks place names

  Bodie Island, Jockeys Ridge, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Monkey Island, Nags Head, No Ache Island, Ocracoke Island – these and Outer Banks place names come with rich stories about their origins, but how many are accurate? Geographer Roger Payne made it his mission long ago to get to the truth. Payne’s interest in the […]

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Microplastics: The ‘big little problem’ plaguing oceans

Microplastics are everywhere. “It’s in our water, it’s in the ocean, it’s in the animals, in the air, even in space,” Ana Zivanovic-Nenadovic, North Carolina Coastal Federation assistant director of policy, said recently during a virtual forum on microplastics. Since the mass production of plastics began in the mid-20th century, plastic has permeated our lives, she […]

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Seagrass Loss Bad Sign for Water Quality

North Carolina sounds are losing seagrass, an indicator of the state’s water quality. According to a recently published metric report by Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership, or APNEP, there’s been a net loss of at least 5% between 2006 and 2013 of the high-salinity submerged aquatic vegetation, or SAV, habitat in the Albemarle-Pamlico estuarine system, which is the second-largest […]

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