State Environmental Agency Accepts Comments on Draft Coastal Habitat Protection Plan | New

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CITY OF PLUS-HEAD – The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality is accepting public comment on the proposed 2021 Coastal Habitat Protection Plan Amendment and Schedule.

The CHPP is a long-term strategy to improve coastal fisheries through habitat protection and enhancement efforts. The plan, which must be approved by the Environmental Management Commission, the Marine Fisheries Commission and the Coastal Resources Commission, provides information on the distribution and abundance of habitats, ecological functions and importance for fish production, status and trends and threats to habitats. It includes recommendations for dealing with these threats.

The CHPP amendment project focuses on recommendations to address five priority issues:

  • Protection and restoration of submerged aquatic vegetation by improving water quality.
  • Protection and restoration of wetlands through nature-based solutions.
  • Compliance with environmental rules to protect coastal habitats.
  • Wastewater infrastructure solutions for improving water quality.
  • Mapping and monitoring of coastal habitat to assess condition and trends.

The public can comment on the proposed amendment in three ways:

  • Public comments will be accepted through an online survey until Thursday, October 21 at 5 p.m. Comments can be submitted at forms.office.com/pages/responsepage.aspx?id=3IF2etC5mkSFw-zCbNftGbIddJbsnP5JiLPxXiv9mkFUN0FEVFIwOFU5VlBDWEVQE website.
  • Written comments can be mailed to CHPP 2021 Amendment Comments, PO Box 769, Morehead City, NC 28557. Comments must be received by the division by 5:00 pm on October 21st.
  • Public comments will be accepted at the five MFC Advisory Committee meetings listed below. Those wishing to speak at meetings must register before 5:00 p.m. the day before the meeting. Each meeting will begin at 6:00 p.m. on the meeting date indicated.

The dates of the committee meetings are as follows:

  • Southern Regional Advisory Committee – Tuesday, October 12.
  • Northern Regional Advisory Committee – Wednesday, October 13.
  • Fish Advisory Committee – Thursday October 14.
  • Shellfish Advisory Committee – Tuesday, October 19.
  • Habitat and Water Quality Advisory Committee – Wednesday, October 20.

Meeting agendas, documents and registration links are available on the deq.nc.gov/news/events/coastal-habitat-protection-plan-public-comment-period website.


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