As Gov. Cooper and the General Assembly continue to try to reach a compromise on the new state budget, it’s a good time to take a moment and thank those legislators who helped the North Carolina Coastal Federation with its legislative agenda this year.

Reps. Pat McElraft and Larry Yarborough, as well as Sen. Norman Sanderson, led the charge to put Senate Bill 648 Support Shellfish Aquaculture on Gov. Cooper’s desk for signature. SB648 includes many of the recommendations made by the UNC Collaboratory’s Strategic Plan to grow the state’s oyster industry to a total value of $100 million and create 1,000 new coastal jobs over the next decade. Thanks also to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality and Gov. Cooper for their support of this legislation.

The Strategic Plan also calls for a number of new investments in the state’s oyster industry. Thanks to Sens. Harry Brown, Brent Jackson, Kathy Harrington, Rick Gunn, Andy Wells and Chuck Edwards as well as Reps. McElraft, Chuck McGrady, Kyle Hall and Jimmy Dixon for their help in securing this funding.

Another special shout-out to Sen. Brown, Sen. Sanderson and Reps. McElraft and McGrady for their help securing funding to preserve a key parcel of land on Bogue Sound that was slated for development.

Thanks also to the many federation members for your support of our policy work and our strong voice for the coast in Raleigh.