Environmentally Speaking

DEQ is joining the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the N.C. Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services in a combined effort to control the spread of aquatic nuisance species in North Carolina’s inland and coastal waters. The goal is to provide officials with long-term tools that will improve their ability to monitor and control these species in North Carolina waterways while raising public awareness of how we can prevent the spread of these organisms.

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Catch a tagged fish in North Carolina’s coastal waters, and you could get more than just supper. That was the case with 12 lucky fishermen who each won $100 in a recent N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Multi-Species Tagging Program drawing. The tagging program randomly selected tag numbers from the 1,020 fish tags that were turned in by fishermen in 2015. Three tag numbers were selected from each of the four species that are tagged by the program. The winners are: Red drum: Alex Bissantz of Camp Lejeune, Daniel DeJong of Jacksonville and Raymond May of Troutman

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DEQ announced at a town hall meeting in Walnut Cove today that the agency will take extra steps to ensure minority communities are protected when it comes to coal ash clean up. The town hall was hosted by the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights. Assistant Secretary Tom Reeder spoke about the pioneering steps the McCrory administration’s leadership has already taken in addressing the decades-old coal ash issue, and how under McCrory’s leadership, North Carolina has set an example for the federal government and other states in addressing the clean-up of coal ash.

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Michael Voytkowski of Waverly, PA has a fish tale to tell – and a state record to prove it’s true. Voytkowski reeled in a 32-pound false albacore while fishing on the charter boat Beagle at the Big Rock off Morehead City. He caught the fish on April 7, 2015, but only recently applied for the state record honor.

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Secretary van der Vaart last week visited Statesville to tour a wastewater treatment facility that recently completed renovations to upgrade and modernize its water and sewer infrastructure. Thanks to funds administered by the state, the Statesville facility was able to improve its system by expanding capacity, improving energy efficiency and replacing outdated infrastructure. For more information about the secretary’s visit, read his letter to the editor in the Statesville Record & Landmark: Water, sewer infrastructure improvements a priority

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One of the best ways to learn how to tackle an environmental challenge is to hear from others who have successfully overcome similar challenges. That was the main theme of the 2016 Manufacturers Zero Waste Conference at the Wilmington Convention Center.  Manufacturing companies in North and South Carolina attended the two-day conference this month to hear how other industries have successfully reduced or eliminated the waste they send to the landfill. The event was organized by the state environmental agency and co-hosted by the Carolina Recycling Association.

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