Senate Mulls Fisheries, Shellfish Overhauls

Bills to establish a new shellfish leasing program and extensive changes to the state’s marine fisheries oversight began moving through the Senate this week. Sen. Norm Sanderson, R-Pamlico, introduced both measures Wednesday morning in a review-only session of the Senate’s Agriculture and Natural and Economic Resources Committee. Sanderson said Senate Bill 554, Marine Fisheries Reforms, […] Fishing |  Full Article

Analysis: NC’s Battle for Regulatory Control

Environmental advocates are warning that a constitutional amendment on the ballot this fall will dramatically shift implementation of environmental policies, allowing for greater direct control by the legislature. Last week, in the closing days of this year’s short session, legislators approved six constitutional amendments for the November ballot, among them a revision to the constitution’s […] Community News |  Full Article

Report Examines the Potential Savings of Increasing Ferry Fares and Reducing Off-Season Trips

A study directed by the legislature’s Program Evaluation Division and released Monday says the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Ferry Division could save $1.5 million by reducing off-season crossings and raise $1.7 million though fare hikes without harming year-round residents and businesses. The 45-page report, commissioned last year, recommends that the DOT evaluate crossing schedules […] Local News |  Full Article

Bag Ban Repeal Among Bills on Fast Track

Facing a key deadline later this week, legislators last week began a full-on push to move several bills affecting the coastal region, including a controversial repeal of the plastic bag ban in place on the Outer Banks since 2009. On Thursday morning, the Senate Agriculture, Environment and Natural Resources Committee reviewed a new environmental omnibus […] Local News |  Full Article