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Welcome to Issue Four!

Thank you for signing up to receive this special newsletter. We hope you find it informative and that it enriches your experience of reading the five-part “Changing Tides” series. 
Dennis Scott fishes at Jeanette's Pier in Nags Head on Aug. 28. Calvin Adkins / Carolina Public Press

Local anglers who rely on their catch for food often fish from spots along the shore, not boats. Although sales of recreational fishing vessels are at a record level, the price is beyond the reach of individual anglers at the bottom rung of the state’s economy. 

Shore fishing from piers, beaches, banks and roads is at the front line of the climate crisis because they are at sea level.

“Not everybody has a boat to fish from, so what happens when you have damage to docks, erosion, water quality issues, sea-level rise or habitat loss?” said Jessica Whitehead, director of the Institute for Coastal Adaptation and Resilience at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va.  

“Will there still be places you can fish?” 

From "Changing Tides." Read this story now

Where You Gonna Run To? Cultural Heritage Continuation and the Intersectionality of Calamity

By Queen Quet, Chieftess of the Gullah/Geechee Nation

 This time of year, watching The Weather Channel becomes a daily ritual for me in addition to paying closer attention to alerts when I have the PDA on since I now have multiple apps concerning weather on it so that I have another tool of awareness at my disposal. I am thankful that God has also let me live through multiple storms that came to and through the Sea Islands of the Gullah/Geechee Nation so that I am able to consistently prepare for the next one and teach others how to do so in order to bring about more community and intergenerational “resiliency” as the Western world has taught me to call it. 

As I awoke today and started to pray, I found myself thinking of my beloved Sea Islands in the 
Gullah/Geechee Nation and how our faith and our communal sharing of the burdens of multiple stressors keeps us alive as Black indigenous people living in rural areas with low incomes during hurricane season where the sea levels, heat and the intensity and amount of storms are rising due to climate change in the midst of a global pandemic. The collective word that came to mind for all of it is “calamity.” I have yet to hear anyone addressing this intersectionality that is a storm raging against the continuation of our cultural heritage communities along the coasts.

I would prefer to faithfully work toward and seek the answers to a new place of intersectionality that is one of peace, balance within a healthy environment and economic empowerment of a healthy faith filled communal community on the Sea Island and Lowcountry. To that end, I rise, as the audience rose to give me a standing ovation at the Global Action Summit as I presented the importance of providing for and protecting cultural heritage in the midst of the planning for the protection of the planet via climate action.


Excerpted from post by Queen Quet for the Gullah Geechee Nation website. Read the full post

African Descendants Have Stake in Saving U.S. Southeast Salt Marshes

Chieftess of Gullah/Geechee Nation supports new initiative to protect a million acres

Salt marshes in the southeastern U.S. are home to descendants of enslaved Africans who have worked together for generations to protect their lands, waters, history, and culture.

Known as the Gullah/Geechee, these estimated 1 million people inhabit the Sea Islands and coastal areas stretching from Jacksonville, North Carolina, to Jacksonville, Florida, and 35 miles inland. Since the times of slavery, the Gullah/Geechee people, who hail from numerous African ethnic groups and built some of the richest plantations in the South, were informally considered “a nation within a nation” with their own language, crafts, and traditions.

In 2000, members of the Gullah/Geechee community formally established their nation and chose computer scientist and South Carolina native Marquetta L. Goodwine as chieftess and head of state. Known as Queen Quet, she has gained worldwide recognition for her community and worked to protect its lands and waters. Now she’s joining a major new project aimed at conserving salt marsh—the grasslands that flood and drain with the tides and provide vital habitat for wildlife ranging from fish to birds.

The project, known as the South Atlantic Salt Marsh Initiative, was created in May and brings together federal, state, and local governments, military officials, and community leaders such as Queen Quet, who recognize the habitat’s ability to help protect shorelines against flooding and storm surge. The initiative aims to conserve about a million acres of marsh stretching from North Carolina to north Florida, an area that is home to installations for every branch of the military. 

In the coming months, initiative leaders will begin hashing out a plan designed to help communities and the military better prepare for the future through coordinated transportation and development plans, targeted restoration projects, and conservation of lands adjacent to marshes, allowing the tidal wetlands to move as sea levels rise. Read the full article and interview with Queen Quet

Article excerpted with permission of the Pew Charitable Trusts. 

Glimpsing the end of the pier? Future hazy for NC coastal icons
Repeated hurricanes drive up costs and risk as developers flood beach towns, but NC fishing piers provide habitat, recreation and economic draw.

Park Service to support Gullah Geechee corridor project
Southeastern NC counties are part of a national parks project stretching to North Florida, with conservation, economic, recreation and education opportunities.

The more than 300 miles of ocean and sound shoreline shape the state’s economy, culture and politics. In our four-part series, “Changing Tides,” reporter Jack Igelman and photographers Mark Darrough and Calvin Adkins explored the many facets of the coast, from the tiniest sea creature to the king mackerel to better understand the way climate change shapes our coastline and our state. The series is available at carolinapublicpress.org.   

"Changing Tides" is made possible in part with support from the Pulitzer Center Connected Coastlines initiative, a nationwide climate reporting initiative in U.S. coastal states, and through the support of readers like you. 
 
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Carolina Public Press is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit news organization dedicated to nonpartisan, in-depth and investigative news for North Carolina. Launched in 2011, our award-winning, breakthrough journalism dismantles barriers and shines a light on critical overlooked and under-reported issues facing our state's 10.2 million residents.
 
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Carolina Public Press is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit news organization dedicated to nonpartisan, in-depth and investigative news for North Carolina. Launched in 2011, our award-winning, breakthrough journalism dismantles barriers and shines a light on critical overlooked and under-reported issues facing our state's 10.2 million residents.
 
Copyright © 2022 Carolina Public Press, All rights reserved.


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