Here are the major accomplishments of the federation's advocacy program during the last three years.
Preventing Unwise Industrial Development
Preventing Incompatible Industrial Development –The federation has joined with environmental groups, dozens of doctors and thousands of citizens in opposing Titan America’s plan to build a huge cement kiln and massive strip mine along the Northeast Cape Fear River north of Wilmington. The project would destroy more than 1,000 acres of wetlands and pollute the water and air with toxic substances like mercury. The federation also helped stopped PCS Phosphate’s plan to build a sulfur smelter at the state port in Morehead City. We worked with hundreds of citizens to prevent the siting of the sulfur plant, and we also remain engaged in litigation to prevent the inappropriate expansion of the PCS phosphate mine in Beaufort County. Our Southeast office continues to work with local opponents in Brunswick County to successfully oppose a proposed major port in Southport. We are also keeping our eye on proposals to allow oil and gas exploration off the N.C. coast which we oppose.
Promoting Beach Protection
North Carolina is blessed with beautiful beaches that are relatively undeveloped compared to beaches in other states. We can thank the beneficence of government, which protected large swaths of beaches in federal and state parks, and forward-looking state policies that attempted to control the types of dense development that marred beaches in other states. The bedrock of those policies is constantly under attack by worried oceanfront landowners that see their investments washing away, and the federation continues to seek to maintain the state’s safeguards for its public oceanfront beaches.
Controlling Polluted Runoff
Poisoned runoff is now the major source of water pollution along the coast. Reducing the amount of polluted stormwater that enters our coastal waters continues to be a major focus of our advocacy. We take a broad approach. We work with local communities to devise workable strategies to fix the damage that stormwater has already done to our waters and with schools, businesses and individuals on inexpensive ways to reduce the flow of stormwater. Stormwater, for instance, has polluted the White Oak river with high levels of harmful bacteria. The federation and Cedar Point, a small community in Carteret County that borders the river, and several other partners received a federal grant to study the where the stormwater was coming from and to offer recommendations on reducing its flow. We completed the study in 2009 and have now worked with Cedar Point to implement recommendations of that report. The federation has also partnered with Brunswick County and residents along the Lockwoods Folly River on a similar study there. See our low-impact development pages for things you can do.
Promoting Better Rules, Laws
The federation minimized the damage to good coastal environmental rules and programs by engaging directly with lawmakers on key coastal issues.
Obtaining Permits for Habitat, Water Quality Restoration
State and regulatory agencies conducted a major study to evaluate the living shoreline projects the federation has installed over the past decade to set the stage for regulatory reforms that will promote their use as the preferred environmental approach for estuarine shoreline management. Regulatory discussions also focused on how best to facilitate the issuance of permits by federal and state agencies for habitat and water quality restoration projects. This included the development of a state permitting tool by the federation that has been embraced by the N.C. Division of Water Quality to use in issuance of state permits for low-impact development projects and retrofits.
Exploring Green Energy Sources
The federation sponsored a conference on renewable energy at the Riverfront Convention Center in New Bern on June, 24, 2011. Almost 150 people attended "Coastal Power: Riding the Wave of Green Energy." They listened to experts talk about harnessing the wind and sun to generate electricity and turning plants into fuel. The also got copies of our 2011 State of the Coast Report, which focused this year on renewable energy sources and their possible effects on the N.C. coast