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Protecting The Environment And Natural Resources In Carteret County NC


  • Local area discussions on protecting the environment and natural resources in Carteret County NC communities in the face of climate change, warming oceans, explosive population growth from Interstate 42 and military expansion at Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point.
  • Impacts on living shorelines, maritime forests, marshlands, beaches, waterways, barrier islands, and the many animal and wildlife ecosystems and habitats which make the southern Outer Banks and Crystal Coast unique.
  • Environmental protections of natural resources in the face of considerable housing construction, more people living in Carteret County NC, pollution, and technology advancements.
  • How growth and development leaders and conservation leaders can work together to allow for new business growth, housing growth, and tourism growth while still maintaining clean and healthy waterways, beaches, wetlands, barrier islands, and other maritime habitats.
  • Encouragement of area leaders, residents, and others to discuss man-made pollution problems which can impact our local environment, especially considering pending growth over the next 10 years.
  • Discussions on legislative efforts to protect habitats and ecosystems.

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Protecting Beaches, Waterways, Living Shorelines, And Habitats

For those that live in our local area, and for those that visit our area, it’s widely known people love the beaches and barrier islands of the Crystal Coast because it’s a place where you can still experience clean beaches, natural sand dunes, maritime forests, remote barrier islands, clean waterways, and seemingly endless habitats for coastal wildlife and animals.

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Obviously, this environment is in stark contrast to many beach tourism areas where entertainment, resorts, parking lots, shopping centers, hotels and motels have replaced vegetation and sand, many wetlands, and natural lakes. And, because our county beaches and communities have yet to go that route, returning tourist tell area leaders that it’s this uniqueness which draws them back year after year.

However, while climate change and warming oceans are beginning to show it’s impacts on commercial and recreational fishing, and tropical systems which brush our coast causing increased concerns, there are two other events which will change the landscape of Carteret County in the very near future.

Discussions On Stormwater Runoff

These two events are:

1) The completion of Interstate 42 which will make travel times from the triad much shorter, thereby increasing the number of lodging facilities needed, restaurants needed to feed people, and recreational entertainment areas which people look for when visiting coastal communities. Interstate 42 is also projected to sharply increase the number of year-around people which will call the county home. This certainly will boost home and apartment construction, in addition to new business construction. This new population will most certainly want to enjoy area islands and beaches which will invariably create more human pollution.

Where will all the new construction of homes, restaurants, businesses, and entertainment areas happen? A huge concern will be that places which are now natural resources will be replaced by these human needs.

2) Both Camp Lejeune and Cherry Point officials recently announced that expansion at both military bases are already underway in 2021. This will mean an additional level of new workers and families moving in to the area, requiring housing and more people enjoying our beaches. Additionally, as with most expansion at military installations, new technologies and industries will open up to serve the mission of the military.

Discussions On Living Shorelines

Since the county has fixed borders, all this will mean a larger amount of humans will be enjoying our natural resources. And, it’s still unclear where all the new housing, businesses, apartment complexes, technology, and roads will be built to meet these human needs.

While we’re certainly for new growth and development in the area, newer technologies opening opportunities for the area, and better paying jobs being more common in our local area, we are concerned that new growth and development will begin to impact our very fragile coastal environments which millions love to visit.

We hope more local residents, people who visit the area and are accustomed to our clean beaches and waters, natural sand dunes, and living shorelines on the many barrier islands will start asking area politicians and developers to think about the best ways to move forward while still protecting the environment, natural habits, ecosystems, and natural resources which make Carteret Country NC, the southern Outer Banks, and the Crystal Coast such a wonderful place to live and visit.

Warming Oceans, Commercial Fishing, And Tropical Weather

While this article is mainly about Interstate 42, military expansion, and a fast growing new population in the county, we still want to maintain a section on the data which shows that climate change and global warming is already having an impact on NC coastal areas, especially with commercial fishing which is a major industry in our local area.

Additionally, after Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Dorian, both of these storms proved that the warming Atlantic is breeding stronger storms which will continue to have serious consequences for the Atlantic coast states and our area.

When Is The Peak Season For The Atlantic?

In regards to commercial fishing, the harvesting of shellfish, shrimp, clams, and oysters, how is environmental changes impacting this area?

Again, we hope readers will add information to this document by using the form below, and will begin talking to us about environmental protections related information for the local areas in Carteret County NC.

Learn More About Waterkeeper Alliance

Article signals: pollution, clean water, protecting ecosystems and habitats, stormwater runoff, and other county environmental concerns related to increased population.

Michael Sharp

Native of Carteret County NC, Father to Makayla and Savannah. You can add me on Facebook. Interest include web development, encryption, and other technologies.

One thought on “Protecting The Environment And Natural Resources In Carteret County NC

  • September 27, 2021 at 9:25 pm

    September 2021: The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality is hosting public comments on amending the 2021 Coastal Habitat Protection Plan and needs public input.

    The priority areas include Coastal habitat mapping and monitoring to assess status and trends, Environmental rule compliance to protect coastal habitats, Submerged aquatic vegetation protection and restoration through water quality improvements, Wastewater infrastructure solutions for water quality improvement, and Wetlands protection and restoration through nature-based solutions.


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