May 29, 2024 7:55 am
Close this search box.

Local News

New Plan Aims to Preserve NC Coastal Landscapes

Credit: iStock

By Shanteya Hudson, Public News Service

North Carolina’s 220,000 acres of salt marsh are in danger of being drowned out or washed away, but groups around the state are banning together to try to stop it from happening.

The South Atlantic Salt Marsh Initiative has released a new plan to preserve one million acres of salt marshes from North Carolina to East Central Florida, an area nearly the size of the Grand Canyon.

Todd Miller, founder and executive director of the North Carolina Coastal Federation, said the marsh areas provide essential protections the state can’t afford to lose.

“The extensive marshes that we have are really great big sponges that not only improve water quality, in terms of treating runoff from the land, but also provide storage when we have hurricanes and storm surges that help to reduce the impacts of flooding,” Miller explained.

Researchers from Duke University and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration have estimated North Carolina’s salt marshes hold 64 million tons of carbon dioxide, which helps decrease the effects of global warming.

The new plan outlines dozens of solutions, ranging from securing adjacent lands, so salt marshes can move as seas rise, to elevating new roads above the important wildlife habitat. While such strategies will help for the short term, Miller emphasized it is going to take everyone to make a long-term change.

“The message, I think, is that these strategies buy us time to deal with warming climate,” Miller acknowledged. “But if we don’t do something to slow down global warming, then we’re looking at pretty catastrophic impacts after 2050.”

According to the NOAA, from 14% to 34% of existing salt marshes along the South Atlantic could be lost by 2060 if oceans continue to rise as expected.

This article originally appeared in Public News Service and is republished here under a Creative Commons license

Biden administration touts NC investments to kick off “Infrastructure Week”

The Biden administration’s significant infrastructure investments are transforming North Carolina, highlighted by projects such as the $110 million replacement of the Alligator River Bridge and the $1 billion high-speed rail line connecting Raleigh to Richmond. However, with only 17% of the allocated $1.1 trillion spent to date, the administration faces challenges in demonstrating these impacts to voters before the upcoming November election.

Raleigh City Council approves $5 million for new pilot program to address homelessness

The Raleigh City Council has approved a $5 million pilot program to provide direct rent assistance to unsheltered individuals. The “Unsheltered Homelessness Response Program” allocates $1.9 million for direct subsidies to help individuals move into permanent housing and $2 million to expand housing options, including repairs to city-owned rental units and affordable housing.

Development pressures, higher taxes threaten to displace Black homeowners in SE Raleigh

On a sunny spring afternoon, a predominantly Black crowd gathered at Martin Street Baptist Church in Raleigh to learn about appealing their property taxes, which have soared due to rising property values. With property values in Wake County increasing by 56% from 2020 to 2024, many long-time residents on fixed incomes are struggling to keep up with the higher taxes, leading to widespread concerns about systemic inequities and displacement in historically Black neighborhoods.