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Welcome to the Issue Five!

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. 
Fishing boats arrive at O'Neal's Market in Wanchese. Photo by Mark Darrough. 

Seeking solutions for NC shoreline and fisheries

Waves, inland runoff and a record tidal surge from Hurricane Florence in September 2018 battered the Marine Corps Air Station at Cherry Point, whose northern perimeter borders the Neuse River southeast of New Bern.

To reinforce the damaged riverbank, a Department of Defense program in late 2020 granted $1 million to support the planting of 2,100 linear feet of living shoreline.

The project not only supports Cherry Point’s critical military mission but also serves as an on-the-ground laboratory of a Duke University initiative to restore eastern oysters in estuarine habitat.

“Oyster reefs are among the most decimated ecosystems on planet Earth,” Duke biologist Brian Silliman said.

The project addresses the cumulative effects of how climate change — including the potential for rising seas, warmer temperatures and more intense storms — will continue to transform the shoreline and the coastal fisheries that depend on a healthy estuarine system. 

In this case, bivalve creatures fertilize and stabilize threatened seagrass habitat. Over time, plants and oysters form reefs and marshes, which protect the shoreline from wind, waves and tides. 

Silliman’s work is an illustration of how North Carolina will answer the hazards of an altered climate along the state’s ocean shore.   

Yet as the impacts of climate change on North Carolina’s coastal fisheries mount, do solutions lie in singular projects, such as the restored shoreline, or do they involve heftier systemic changes to the institutions that govern our fisheries?

From "Changing Tides." Read the series

Beaufort Marsh photo by Mark Darrough.

Supplemental content

 


Ryan Bethea, Oysters Carolina, on how hurricanes affect the oyster industry:

"Oysters are pretty resilient animals. They live in a salinity range of anywhere from 10 to 28 parts per thousand. To give you an idea, the ocean is 33 to 35 parts per thousand salt, so they have a pretty wide range. But what they aren't very good at is going from, let's say 28 parts per thousand down to 10 parts per thousand in a matter of days — which is what happens when you have heavy rainfall and then flooding, all that fresh water." Learn more.

Warming oceans have fish on the move, and one man is in hot pursuit.

“Ocean temperature is something we’ve largely ignored in fisheries management for a long time, to our detriment,” said Pinsky, who explained that some fish cannot reproduce or even survive if temperatures don’t suit them. Read the full articleExcerpted from The Pew Charitable Trust website.

North Carolina Model Shows How States Benefit From Protecting Coastal Habitats

Earlier this spring, The Pew Charitable Trust's Conserving Marine Life in the United States project hosted a webinar on how states can better conserve coastal ecosystems, which in turn will help boost community resilience to climate change and improve those ecosystems’ capacity to capture and store carbon. The webinar, attended by more than 160 federal and state officials, academics, and conservationists, featured presentations on North Carolina’s Coastal Habitat Protection Plan (CHPP) and how it could inform coastal conservation, climate adaptation, and resilience efforts in other states as well. Learn more.


Marines invest in restoring NC shoreline

A project funded by the Department of Defense will make the NC shoreline more resilient against severe weather and protect fragile ecosystems. https://carolinapublicpress.org/40611/marines-invest-in-restoring-nc-shoreline/

More than 300 miles of ocean and sound shoreline shape the state’s economy, culture and politics. In our five-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 project is available at carolinapublicpress.org.   
Read the series
"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.
 
Copyright © 2022 Carolina Public Press, All rights reserved.


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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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