State environmental officials committing to volunteer and Earth Day service projects

Raleigh

Staff in the state Department of Environmental Quality, or DEQ, are inviting the public to join them in protecting the planet and giving back to their local communities.

Since Earth Day is April 22 and National Volunteer Week is April 23-29, staff in the state agency will be active on numerous projects devoted to environmental protection and service to their local communities. To celebrate both events, staff in the:

  • N.C. Division of Coastal Management will join the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission on Wednesday at the Outer Banks Center for Wildlife Education Outdoors Day event. The coastal agency’s Northern Reserve sites will have a display with information about the barrier island ecosystems in North Carolina as well as other interesting information about the coastal reserves. For more information, go to http://www.ncwildlife.org/News-Archives/wildlife-commission-schedules-an...
  • N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries will participate in Wilmington’s Earth Day Festival on April 22 at Hugh McRae Park. The division will have their Marine Patrol education trailer at the festival and staff will have fish puzzles for children to put together while talking about ethical angling and fish conservation. For more information, go to www.wilmingtonearthday.com.
  • N.C. Division of Air Quality will participate in the Cumberland County Schools Earth Day, which is open to the public on April 25 at the Cape Fear Botanical Garden. Staff be sharing air quality information with the public including information about the air quality forecast program. People can use the air quality forecasts as a tool to stay informed and take steps to protect their health. There will also be experiments and activities for students on air pollution and what they can do to help improve air quality.
  • N.C Department of Environmental Quality’s Fayetteville regional office will work with the city’s Public Works Commission staff to remove trash at Glenville Lake and participate in a walking trail clean-up at Arnette Park on April 28.
  • N.C. Division of Air Quality will also help with litter clean-ups and participate in several Charlotte-area Earth Day events, including the UNC-Charlotte Earth Day on Wednesday and the town of Matthews’ Earth Day on the Greenway on April 22.

People can also participate in numerous Earth Day service projects, educational events and family fun statewide in April. DEQ’s Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs compiles an online calendar of these opportunities on its website, www.eenorthcarolina.org. Events can be searched by city or zip code and include the state agency’s public events and activities hosted by others. The public can also follow and share events, environmental education news and interesting nature stories on Twitter and Facebook by following and using the hashtag #NCEarthDay. Many of these Earth Day events are also part of the N.C. Science Festival, which ends April 23. For more information about N.C. Science Festival events near you, visit www.ncsciencefestival.org.

Staff with the Department of Environmental Quality are also planning their own Earth-friendly events. The Office of Environmental Education and Public Affairs is coordinating a DEQ service event with students at Fred J. Carnage GT/Magnet Middle School to spruce up the school grounds the morning of April 21. In the afternoon of April 21, DEQ staff will remove invasive plant species at Raleigh’s Walnut Creek Wetland Center, which is across the street from the middle school. The removal of invasive plants will help the center in its continuing education, restoration and protection efforts for the Walnut Creek wetlands, which are part of the Neuse River basin system. Also on April 21, staff with the Division of Water Resources will cleanup Pigeon House Branch, which flows to Crabtree Creek. On April 28, DEQ staff will also remove invasive plants at Lake Crabtree County Park in Morrisville.

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