The application period opens June 1 for N.C. Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve local advisory committees. Community members are needed for each of the Coastal Reserve’s ten sites: Bird Island Reserve, Bald Head Woods Reserve, Zeke’s Island Reserve, Masonboro Island Reserve, Permuda Island Reserve, Rachel Carson Reserve, Buxton Woods Reserve, Kitty Hawk Woods Reserve, Currituck Banks Reserve, and Emily and Preyer Buckridge Reserve.
Local advisory committees consist of citizens and representatives from community organizations, government agencies, and non-governmental partner organizations who provide the Division of Coastal Management’s Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve staff with guidance and feedback regarding program activities and management of the reserve sites.
Local advisory committees promote effective communication between the Reserve and the local community and represent a variety of perspectives from communities around the reserve sites. Each committee includes members with knowledge and experience representing relevant topical areas, according to the needs and uses at each site. These topical areas may include education, research, commercial use, recreational use, traditional use such as hunting and fishing, neighboring property ownership, volunteering, and non-profit community organization or interest group.
Community members with knowledge and experience in one or more of the topical areas related to a site and an interest in serving as a local advisory committee member are encouraged to consider applying. Applications will be available at deq.nc.gov/coastal-reserve-LAC and must be submitted between June 1 and June 30, 2023. Following the application period, selected committee members are appointed by the Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality with service starting in 2024. Local advisory committee members serve five-year terms. Additional information about the role, responsibilities, and functioning of the local advisory committees can be found in the Local Advisory Committee Operating Procedures on the reserve’s website.
The North Carolina Division of Coastal Management (DCM), a division of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, works to protect, conserve and manage North Carolina’s coastal resources in the 20 coastal counties. The N.C. Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve, a program of DCM, protects natural areas for education, research and compatible traditional uses. Since its creation in 1989, the program has preserved more than 44,000 acres of unique coastal environments at 10 sites along the coast.