Updated Nov. 9 Environmental Management Commission meeting date
North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission is scheduled to meet next week to consider approving the 2021 Coastal Habitat Protection Plan update.
The meeting is set to begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 10, at the DoubleTree by Hilton, 2717 W. Fort Macon Road, Atlantic Beach. A public comment period is scheduled for noon Nov. 10. Comments may be limited to 3 minutes per person at the chairwoman’s discretion.
The Coastal Resources Advisory Council meets at 3 p.m. Nov. 9, also at the Atlantic Beach hotel.
Full agendas and briefing materials can be found on the CRC website. Times indicated on the agenda for individual items are subject to change. Both meetings are open to the public.
The Coastal Habitat Protection Plan is the state’s long-term effort to improve coastal fisheries through habitat protection and enhancement efforts. The plan details habitats’ distribution and abundance, ecological functions and importance to fish production, status and trends, threats to the habitats, and includes recommendations to address threats, according to state Department of Environmental Quality. North Carolina Marine Fisheries, Environmental Management and Coastal Resources Commissions unanimously approved the document December 2004. The plan is to be updated every five years.
The 2021 draft plan amendment recommends addressing five priority issues: submerged aquatic vegetation protection and restoration through water quality improvements; wetlands protection and restoration through nature-based solutions; environmental rule compliance to protect coastal habitats; wastewater infrastructure solutions for water quality improvement; and coastal habitat mapping and monitoring to assess status and trends.
The draft amendment also includes Appendix A, early public comment submitted by an independent stakeholder workgroup led by the North Carolina Coastal Federation and The Pew Charitable Trusts.
The three commissions now must vote to approve the draft 2021 amendment. The Environmental Management Commission has a meeting scheduled Nov. 17-18 but the agenda had not been released at the time of this report. The North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission is expected to vote during its Nov. 17-19 meeting.
To reduce the spread of COVID-19, all attendees should wear a mask and maintain social distance during the meeting.
The agenda for the commission meeting also includes the following:
- Consider a variance request from Kure Beach regarding a development line.
- Review of proposed beach management plan rules.
- Consider amendments to shoreline access policies, parking fees and clarifying language.
- Continued discussion of amendments to Land Use Plans – enforceable polices.
- Discussion of proposed amendments regarding floating structures associated with shellfish leases.
- Consideration of fiscal analyses regarding structural boat covers and general permit for beach bulldozing.