Saturday, August 24, 2013

Public meeting for Cape Fear study

State coastal agency plans Aug. 29 public meeting for Cape Fear study
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RALEIGH – The state Division of Coastal Management will hold a second public meeting Aug. 29 as part of a study of the feasibility of creating a special management area, known as an Area of Environmental Concern, that would include the lands adjacent to the mouth of the Cape Fear River.

The meeting will be from 9 a.m. – noon Aug. 29 at the Southport Community Building, 223 East Bay Street, in Southport.

Stakeholders and members of the public are invited to attend the meeting for a roundtable discussion about regulatory concerns and specifics of the proposalsthat were presented Bald Head Island and Caswell Beach officials at the division’s first meeting on this topic in June.

Session Law 2012-202 requires the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission, or CRC, to perform a study which considers the unique coastal morphologies and hydrographic conditions of the Cape Fear River region and determines if action is necessary to preserve, protect and balance the economic and natural resources of this region. The commission was directed to consider eliminating overlapping Areas of Environmental Concern by incorporating appropriate development standards into one single AEC unique to this location.

The state agency held the first public meeting on this study June 26. Information from both public meetings will be compiled in a report to the commission for consideration of the proposed AEC, and in a final report to the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the N.C. General Assembly and the governor.

Areas of Environmental Concern are the foundation of the CRC’s permitting program for coastal development. An AEC is an area of natural importance that may be susceptible to erosion or flooding; or it may have environmental, social, economic or aesthetic values that make it valuable to the state. The CRC classifies areas as AECs to protect them from incompatible development, which may cause irreversible damage to property, public health or the environment. AECs cover almost all coastal waters and about 3 percent of the land in the state’s 20 coastal counties.

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Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs - Phone: 919-707-8626 -- 1601 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, NC 27699-1601

Jamie Kritzer, Public Information Officer, 919-707-8602, Jamie.Kritzer@ncdenr.gov

Pat McCrory, Governor -- John E. Skvarla, III, Secretary

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