Environmentally Speaking

With three nominations detailing his extraordinary service in 2016, Tim Skelding has been named Division of Air Quality Employee of the Year. Skelding, an environmental specialist with the Raleigh Regional Office, was honored by colleagues during the division’s annual appreciation event Wednesday at the N.C. Museum of History. He has worked at DAQ since 2003.

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NC GreenTravel Initiative is North Carolina’s sustainable tourism recognition program that assists travel-oriented businesses by helping them to improve their brand by conserving natural resources, protecting the state’s environment and attracting more visitors to our state. Several states have sustainable hospitality programs, but North Carolina’s program is the most extensive, helping a wider variety of tourism businesses become recognized as sustainable destinations.

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The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality is working with N.C. State University to prepare a new generation of environmental educators. Beginning this 2017-2018 academic year, the N.C. State College of Natural Resources will partner with the N.C. State College of Education to offer two courses in environmental education--Environmental Education Teaching Methods and Environmental Education in Practice.

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By: Jamie Kritzer  One of our most important jobs in the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality is educating the next generation to appreciate and protect the environment. “And if you’re gonna educate children, you better bring your ‘A’ game,” says DEQ Secretary Michael Regan. So for this year’s Read Across America celebration, staff with the Department of Environmental Quality used their creative genius to design an event that the students and teachers at Barwell Road Elementary in Raleigh will likely not soon forget.

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By: Sarah Young Two people instrumental to recycling and stormwater programs in North Carolina have retired from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. Scott Mouw and Bradley Bennett both retired from the state of North Carolina on Feb. 28. Scott was the section chief for the Recycling and Materials Management section of the Division of Environmental Assistance and Customer Service (DEACS), and Bradley served as the head of the state’s Stormwater Permitting Program in the Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources (DEMLR).

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For gardeners or anyone interested in water conservation, rain barrels are essential. These barrels allow homeowners to collect rainwater from a roof to use as an alternative water supply in place of groundwater. Most rain barrels have a closed top to help control mosquitoes and keep out extraneous materials, but I have always had an open-top barrel with a spigot to be able to dip water out for quick trips to vegetable and flower gardens. 

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Aaron Sebens, a teacher at Central Park School for Children in Durham, just completed his state Environmental Education Certification, a professional development program provided through the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. Sebens is the school’s media specialist and technology director and also assists other teachers with environmental education projects. His favorite part about the program was learning outside and being exposed to many environmental science topics, including  landfills, raptors, watersheds and evensolar power.  

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The U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) announced last week that 122,405 acres offshore of Kitty Hawk, N.C. will be offered in a commercial wind lease sale on March 16, 2017. The Kitty Hawk lease area begins about 24 nautical miles from shore and extends 25.7 nautical miles in a general southeast direction. For more information about the upcoming lease sale, see the BOEM announcement here. 

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