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for Shellfish fisheries--North Carolina
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When Onslow County Commissioners rezoned waterfront property for high-density development, the Stump Sound Shellfishermen raised concerns about pollution run-off into the sound. After three and a half years of grassroot fights, the state Division of Coastal Management said no to a developer in order to protect shellfishing waters.
Recent permit requests for North Carolina coastal residential development, mostly duplexes and condominiums, have heightened conflicts between developers and shellfish producers. Rainfall runoff from high-density urban and resort developments can impact the quality and quantity of stormwater and frequently results in pollution of shellfish waters.
The North Carolina Division of Water Quality drafted a response to a petition filed by the North Carolina Coastal Federation to require Brunswick County to obtain an NPDES Storm Water Phase I permit prior to being issued authorizations for construction of the East-West Brunswick Regional Wastewater Treatment Facilities. The petition asks that Brunswick County obtain a storm water permit to regulate storm water discharges because of reports concluding that shellfish closures in the area result from storm water runoff.
Shellfish—their lives, the industry’s livelihood—looked bleak when Red Tide rolled in. The future became brighter with its causes’ discovery: inadequate treatment of human and animal wastes. It also brightened with the solutions: improvement of septic tank surveillance and testing procedures. A chart reiterated the need for improvement, with counties ranging from Dare to New Hanover, waterways from Hyde County’s Kitty Creek to Harkers Island’s Back Sound.
UNC system research and startup businesses generated over 2.6 billion dollars and created over 28,000 jobs. Also yielded were medical advancements such as gene therapy, businesses like GI Therapeutics, Inc., and protective measures of the state’s ecosystems aimed to improve oyster growth.