In January, the North Carolina General Assembly completed its 2019 legislative session. With the 2020 session not expected to begin until April, now is an excellent time to review the North Carolina Coastal Federation’s 2019 state policy work.

The federation had considerable success in Raleigh last year. Some of our most significant victories include:

The federation and its partners have been working with the community to restore the water shed of Lake Mattamuskeet. Photo by Linda Sunderland

  • $1.8M included in state disaster recovery legislation to be used for flood control improvements that will increase public safety and improve water quality at Lake Mattamuskeet. These improvements are part of the Lake’s Watershed Restoration Plan, which was developed by the federation in collaboration with a variety of other stakeholders.
  • $2 million provided to NCDOT for living shoreline projects to make coastal highways, bridges and other transportation infrastructure more resilient to increasingly intense and frequent storms.
  • $3.3 million for the preservation of 74 acres of coastal land along Bogue Sound in Carteret County.
  • Near-unanimous approval of legislation to implement many of the key recommendations of the North Carolina Shellfish Mariculture Strategic Plan for the state’s oyster industry, which the federation helped develop in 2018 and will begin updating in March of 2020.

As part of our crab pot cleanup program, a team of fishermen are hired to remove unclaimed crab pots during the off-season. Photo by Chris Hannant

While investment in these projects is now moving forward, the end of the 2019 session – and the ongoing state budget stalemate – left a number of important federation programs and priorities unfunded for the 2019-2020 state fiscal year. These include the federation’s crab pot cleanup program, the Swan Island Oyster Sanctuary in the Pamlico Sound, as well as several other recommendations of the Strategic Plan for the state’s oyster industry.

With the 2019 session now closed, the federation is busily preparing for the upcoming 2020 session. Priorities for the coming year are still being developed, but will likely include securing funding and support for the creation of a Coastal Debris Clean-Up Fund.  This would support our crab pot cleanup program while expanding the federation’s cleanup work to a year-long effort. Other priorities include making continued progress on the recommendations included in the Shellfish Mariculture Strategic Plan and increasing investment in the Swan Island Oyster Sanctuary in the Pamlico Sound.

For more information about the North Carolina Coastal Federation’s state advocacy work, visit the legislative section of our website. Our legislative and lobbying team would like to extend their thanks for all of your support for the federation. Your help makes our work possible – in Raleigh and throughout the coast.