University of North Carolina Wilmington graduate students have organized as a class project a forum on the proposed N.C. Port of Wilmington expansion project.
The forum is set for 5:30-7 p.m. Nov. 15 in Teaching Lab 1011 on the UNCW campus. The public is welcome, but seating is limited.
Part of the N.C. State Ports Authority’s preferred plan to expand the port is to deepen the Wilmington navigational harbor to 47 feet to accommodate larger, deep-draft container vessels, according to the website.
During the forum, panelists are expected to share what the expansion means for the environment, economy and community, and then answer questions from moderators and the audience.
Panelists include Brian Clark, N.C. State Ports Authority; Brayton Willis, Brunswick County NAACP Environmental and Climate Justice Committee, Gullah Geechee Greenway-Blueway Heritage Trail Project; Kemp Burdette, Cape Fear River Watch; and Natalie English, Wilmington Chamber of Commerce.
Dr. Jessica Weinkle, associate professor with the Department of Public and International Affairs at UNCW, told Coastal Review that the forum had been coordinated as a class project with graduate students in the UNCW Master of Coastal and Ocean Policy program in the Department of Public and International Affairs.
“Students in my seminar course picked the subject matter, selected panelists, deigned the flyer, and developed questions,” she said. “Attendees can expect an organized, unbiased, and informative discussion about the project. One of the reasons students selected the project is because they wanted to learn more about a major economic initiative in the community directly related to their study area. To my knowledge, there is no preexisting opinion about the project among the students.”