BEAUFORT — The sun was shining down Wednesday on the few dozen listening to Michael Regan, secretary of the state Department of Environmental Quality, speak about the work of the North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve during the 30th anniversary celebration of the program.
Held at Harborside Park in downtown Beaufort, Regan, was joined by Coastal Reserve Program Director Rebecca Ellin, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Office for Coastal Management Deputy Director Keelin Kuipers and Mayor Rett Newton.
“Because of the foresight of state and local leaders 30 years ago, North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve protects 10 sites and 44,000 acres of critical coastal ecosystems and serves the purpose of both science and discovery,” Regan told those gathered at the waterfront park with a view of Rachel Carson Reserve, one of the reserve’s 10 sites.
During the ceremony, Regan presented a proclamation signed by Gov. Roy Cooper to Newton declaring June 19, 2019, as North Carolina Coastal Reserve Day.
The North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve is a program of the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management, a division of DEQ. The reserve includes 10 sites along the state’s coast established for long-term research, education and stewardship.