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A fresh take on the region's salty affairs
By Caroline Lamb and Danielle Herman, communications specialists for the North Carolina Coastal Federation, published April 5, 2017
Almost 200 local and state government officials, engineers, developers, business leaders, shellfish growers, scientists and more recently gathered to learn how North Carolina can tap into its coastal resources to boost the state’s economy.
The Sound Economic Development: Creating a Rising Tide for the North Carolina Coast summit, hosted by the North Carolina Coastal Federation, was held on March 22 and 23 at the North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh. The Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership (APNEP) was one of the sponsors of the event.
L-R Michael Regan, Secretary of N.C. Department of Environmental Quality; Todd Miller, executive director of North Carolina Coastal Federation and Tom Looney, Board of Directors, Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina. Photo by NCDEQ.
Michael Regan, Secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, welcomed the crowd and confirmed Governor Roy Cooper's and the state’s endorsement of efforts to restore oysters and bolster the state’s shellfish aquaculture industry. He emphasized the need for partnerships between elected officials, conservation and business communities, and all levels of government to build the shellfish industry.
Secretary Regan recognized the RTI study comissioned by APNEP, which demonstrated that coastal habitat enhancement programs managed by the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries provide $4 in benefits for every $1 invested in the coastal region. “Natural resource protection and economic prosperity are not mutually exclusive,” Regan said.
The federation introduced the Strategic Plan for Creating a Robust Coastal Economy with Coastal Restoration, which will help guide economic growth on the North Carolina coast for the next five years. This plan was created by a diverse team of stakeholders including APNEP.
Have an idea?
APNEP can help get your environmental initiative off the ground, whether it is related to restoration, science, education, engagement, or policy. The first steps? Take a look at our CCMP and learn about our program, approach, and priorities. Then, contact a staff member to discuss ways that APNEP and its partners can support your efforts.
Telling the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership Story
The United States Congress designated the Albemarle-Pamlico estuarine system an "estuary of national significance" in 1987. That same year, the Albemarle-Pamlico Estuarine Study (APES) was among the first of 28 National Estuary Programs established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) through amendments to the Clean Water Act. To help commemorate our 30th Anniversary, we are highlighting the history of APNEP by featuring our partners-past and present-throughout 2017.
Journalist, Raising the Story and Coastal Voices
Telling the Story of the Fisheries Reform Act
The year 2017 marks the twentieth anniversary of the 1997 NC Fisheries Reform Act, far-reaching legislation that changed how fisheries are managed in North Carolina. In this special edition of Sound Reflections, Susan West tells the story of a unique community collaboration featuring the voices offishermen, scientists, environmental advocates, and resource managers instrumental in shaping the most significant fisheries legislation in NC history.
Dr. B.J. Copeland. Photo credit: Mary Williford.
The 1997 NC Fisheries Reform Act: An Oral History Perspective
“I think the most important aspect was the mechanism of developing a fisheries management plan for each of the major species. Now, that’s not as easy as it sounds, of course, and no species stands on its own,” Dr. B. J. Copeland, retired North Carolina State University professor of Zoology and Marine Sciences, told oral historian Mary Williford last June.
Copeland was talking about the 1997 North Carolina Fisheries Reform Act, the most significant fisheries legislation in state history, and the three years of research, meetings, outreach, and negotiation that preceded passage of the act. In 1994, the General Assembly had approved a moratorium on the sale of new commercial fishing licenses and established a 19-member committee to oversee study of the state's coastal fisheries management process and recommend changes to improve the process.
Altogether, Williford and other oral historians interviewed thirteen people for the 1997 NC Fisheries Reform Act: An Oral History Perspective project. Interviewees were fishermen, scientists, resource managers, elected officials, and environmental advocates instrumental in developing and implementing the legislation.
Estuaries of National Significance
APNEP is part of the National Estuary Program (NEP), an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) place-based program to protect and restore the water quality and ecological integrity of estuaries of national significance.