SHORT DESCRIPTION OF INTERESTS:
My primary areas of focus recently have been fostering ecologically minded land management through landscaping and marine debris research and outreach. I’m interested in engaging with individuals and communities, especially at the local level. I’m interested in helping bridge academic disciplines, especially between natural sciences, horticulture, planning, design and communication.
The North Carolina Sea Grant College Program integrates three university functions ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â research, education and outreach ÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â‚¬Â into a cohesive, innovative, program that addresses priorities of the stateÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s numerous coastal communities. These include, but are not limited to: communities of individuals located along the 300 miles of oceanfront shoreline and those within the 20 counties designated by the Coastal Area Management Act; coastal and estuarine water- and land-based industries; the vast natural environmental resources including the 2.3 million acres of estuarine habitat that provide important ecological and cultural resources for the entire state. North Carolina Sea Grant (NCSG) positions itself at this intersection of research and outreach, working to ensure results are translated to actionable information in support of the varied stakeholders invested in North CarolinaÃƒÂ¢Ã¢â€šÂ¬Ã¢â€žÂ¢s coast. Taking discoveries, demonstrations and experiential knowledge developed by experts and delivering those results to identified audiences is a model our program embodies. These efforts support improved understanding and appreciation of the near-shore and coastal ocean environment and the sustainable use and development of its resources. We join other coastal and Great Lakes states in a national network of Sea Grant universities charged with meeting the needs of society in our home state, our regions, and the nation as a whole.
OBJECTIVES: The objectives of this project are to facilitate the creation of a coastal community climate change adaptation network. Probable partners and their roles are as follows: North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources and Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program: Will actively participate in convening and participating in the network. East Carolina University: Will actively participate in convening and participating in the network; developing projects, and researching product effectiveness. Others we anticipate being a part of the network include the National Weather Service Forecast Offices, State Climate Office, North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission, North Carolina Cooperative Extension, Carolinas Integrated Sciences and Assessments Group, The Coastal Society, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service?s Wildlife Refuge System, United States Environmental Protection Agency, researchers and practitioners from NC state and private universities, and selected local elected officials, planners, emergency management and private citizens will be invited. Specific objectives for Year 1 include the formation of a NC Coastal Community Climate Adaptation Working Group, the identification of the priority information and process needs for coastal communities and training of facilitators for a community level adaptation planning tool. For Year 2 objectives include testing of these products, development of coastal community climate change adaptation resources and the application of appropriate tools on a web-based platform. METHODOLOGY: During the first year we will identify a team of local, state and federal people who are working on coastal community climate change adaptation issues. This will include agency staff, local government representatives, NGOs as well as coastal community local community leaders. It will involve working with these partners to develop a strategic outreach plan and messages on the topic of sea level rise, and to a lesser extent climate change in NC. It will include convening organizations to get an understanding of current outreach plans and information, and understanding what works and what does not in terms of communicating on these topics. To help with this effort we will coordinate closely with communication researchers from East Carolina University. In the second year, new products and outreach processes will be developed and tested in selected communities; and evaluated, revised as needed, and distributed within the state and the Sea Grant system. RATIONALE: In North Carolina many local, state and federal partners have be grappling with how to provide community assistance for adapting to climate change. Although progress has been made, extension programming on this topic is still in its infancy and in need of the development of an effective set of materials and processes. These tools will be most useful and valuable if created and distributed in an atmosphere of collaboration.
The North Carolina Sea Grant College Program integrates three university functions ? research, education and outreach ? into a program focused on the coastal resource needs of communities, agencies, businesses and individuals. The applied American higher education approach of taking discoveries, demonstrations and experiential knowledge to the prospective user via outreach is the model by which the program seeks improved understanding and appreciation of the coastal ocean and sustainable use and development of its resources. Thus, it is our mission and honor to join other coastal and Great Lakes states in a network of Sea Grant universities charged with meeting the needs of society in our home states, our regions, and the nation as a whole. North Carolina Sea Grant (NCSG) program activities in North Carolina began with an institutional planning and project grant in 1970. With the establishment of the 16-campus University of North Carolina system in 1972 and involvement of Duke University via a consortial arrangement, NCSG programs engaged all senior institutions of higher education in the state, and became the nation?s 12th recognized Sea Grant College in 1976. This proposal, for the 41st through 44th year of continuous support, is in response to verified and important needs in coastal North Carolina, the region and nation. It reflects NCSG?s best judgment and estimate of coastal resource and development trends currently taking place, and emerging issues that North Carolina and its people will face in the future, tempered by the availability of talent within the university, and the realities of funding from federal, state and local sources.
Lost or abandoned (derelict) commercial fishing gear can result in adverse impacts to the estuarine environment including degradation of sensitive habitat, unwanted capture of species through ?ghost fishing?, hazards to safety and navigation, and reduced aesthetic appeal. However, in North Carolina interested fishermen, waterfront property owners, and others are not freely allowed to remove derelict fishing gear (DFG) because it is not clear to whom legal authority extends for removal of this debris from public waters. The long-term understanding is that the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries? (DMF) Marine Patrol has express authority. Many stakeholders, including crabbers, the DMF, and the North Carolina Coastal Federation have expressed a desire for change that would allow more extensive removal of DFG from our coastal waters. To facilitate this change, a small group of stakeholders will be identified to participate in a workgroup that will develop a shared knowledge of the current state of DFG management in North Carolina and develop detailed programmatic or legal changes needed to overcome barriers preventing more extensive DFG removal efforts. A report will be generated containing a historical account of what already has been done in the state to address the issue and recommended policy or program changes, including suggested legal language that facilitates amendments to current laws or policies, as necessary.
In 2010, North Carolina Sea Grant was awarded grant funding from the NC Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program and matching funds from Currituck County to retrofit an existing stormwater pond located at the NC Cooperative Extension Services? Center in Currituck County off Highway 158. The retrofit work included excavation of two aquatic benches and installation of native wetland, riparian and wildlife plantings. A mini-grant was obtained from North Carolina Sea Grant to collect ?before? data as a first step in a study effort designed to determine whether the emergent vegetation and wetland shelves provided additional nutrient and sediment removal benefits beyond those of a standard wet detention pond. As such, two-automated water quality samplers were installed at the inflow and outflow for the pond and nine inflow and outflow sampling efforts were made during and between storm events over a three month period in 2011 before the emergent vegetation became established. This proposal requests additional funding to continue inflow and outflow storm sampling at the pond and to install a second automated water quality sampler at a newly established stormwater inflow pipe to the pond. This pipe was added during construction of the YMCA. Specific objectives of the proposed water quality monitoring work are to: 1. Determine if nutrient and suspended sediment removal rates increase as a result of establishment of aquatic wetland vegetation and shoreline grasses along the perimeter of the pond. 2. Determine how nutrient and sediment removal rates at the Currituck Pond, which includes wetland vegetation, compare to other coastal plain stormwater ponds that lack wetland and shoreline vegetation (as reported in the scientific literature). 3. Document the length of time for stabilization of the pond?s watershed to occur as a result of successful establishment of ground covers (grass, etc.) following cessation of land disturbance activities associated with the construction of the YMCA facility. Stability will be detected by measured reductions in inflow pollutant concentrations.
North Carolina Sea Grant?s involvement in the SARP and CCCAIP programs has created a unique opportunity to combine the two complimentary programs and focus on one coastal community. The following proposal describes a project that will assist a small coastal community with organizing themselves to identify climate change-related vulnerabilities and develop adaptation strategies. In the project the time line (p. 3) the segments of the project that are most related to the SARP projects are notes in red. Of course these segments are intertwined between the two programs, but the reporting and focus will be unique for the SARP program requirements.
The Robeson Creek Watershed is impaired for Total Phosphorus, Habitat Degradation, and Aquatic Weeds. Through this project, multiple BMPs are proposed for implementation throughout the watershed at targeted locations to address these impairments. Both urban and agricultural BMPs will be implemented throughout the watershed in critical areas determined by the TMDL Implementation Plan. Because this is a rapidly developing watershed, low impact development and stormwater ordinance education of local government and builders as well as an LID demonstration site is proposed to help stakeholders understand and prevent further degradation and actually work to improve stream health. Using the existing TMDL Implementation Plan, a watershed plan for Robeson Creek will be developed to assist stakeholders in making decisions about water quality measures. Monitoring for water quality and aquatic habitat will determine effectiveness of BMPs. Community involvement as well as technical guidance from the RCWC is paramount in removing this watershed from the 303(d) list. Therefore, the current educational campaign will be continued with quarterly stakeholder meetings, tours, workshops, newsletters, and informational signs at each BMP location.
Some of the most effective ways to protect coastal waters is through land-use planning, appropriate land-use policies and site-design. North Carolina is continuously taking steps to improve the extent and manner in which it?s programs and local governments can address nonpoint source pollution. Counties and municipalities are in need of educational and technical assistance that will help them develop local policies, programs, projects and outreach to reduce impacts of the built environment on water quality and aquatic resources. Through this project, funding will be provided to NC State University to continue a position within the NC Sea Grant Program to serve as a water quality planning specialist to local governments and other parties. As stated in National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration?s 2009-2010 Section 310 Award to the Division of Coastal Management (DCM), ?creating the water quality planning position was a specific milestone in the state?s 15 Year Strategy/5 Year Action Plan for improving local capacity to address nonpoint source pollution. Continuing the position provides support for the plans objectives to develop effective and dynamic education and outreach programs. Specifically it supports many of the Coastal Nonpoint Source Program Management Measures including watershed planning, site development, and protection of wetlands and riparian areas.? As described in the federal grant, the position will continue to coordinate and participate in efforts to address development issues as they relate to water quality and coastal habitat protection; coordinate, develop, and implement water quality related outreach projects to local communities, citizens, and others; directly assist communities with water quality related issues; and work with the Division of Water Quality (DWQ) and the DCM to improve implementation of water quality components of Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA) Land Use Plans (LUPs). Duties will also include serving as a liaison to state and local organizations to enhance communication and coordination between and among academia and government entities on nonpoint source issues. The overall goals of the position will be to improve land use planning, development policies, and site design of new or re-development to protect water quality and aquatic resources. The position will also strive to increase the internal capacity of local governments to address these issues on their own in the future. The NC Sea Grant program will serve as the lead agency for the project. Work will be coordinated with the NC Cooperative Extension to provide greater assurance of widespread delivery of information and educational materials at the local level.
This project creates an environmental education demonstration site that incorporates natural landscape features and native plants at a prominent county-owned location. The primary objectives of the project will be to increase the use of wetland features in stormwater control and treatment systems, and use of native plants in all landscapes throughout the county and the region. To accomplish, this partners involved with the Currituck Goes Green Initiative will work collaboratively to 1) redesign and retrofit the stormwater detention ponds currently serving the Currituck County Cooperative Extension Facility to improve stormwater treatment; 2) install a small wildlife garden adjacent to the ponds using native plants; and 3) use the project design process and demonstration site to educate key target audiences about the methods and value of incorporating natural features and native plants into the developed landscape. The Cooperative Extension Facility is located in Crawford Township on 36 acres just off Highway 158, adjacent to Central Elementary School.
Some of the most effective ways to protect coastal waters is through land-use planning, and appropriate land-use policies, and site-design. North Carolina has taken steps to improve the extent and manner in which its Coastal Management Program (under the Coastal Area Management Act) can address nonpoint source pollution through its revised CAMA Land Use Planning Rules. These rules took effect in August 2002. Because of accelerating growth in coastal North Carolina, local governments are in great need of educational and technical assistance in order to maximize how the revised CAMA rules can reduce the impacts of the built environment on water quality. Through this project, funding will be provided to NC State University to develop a position within the NC Sea Grant Program to serve as a water quality planning specialist to local governments and other parties. Working in a cooperative manner between NC State University and NC DENR, this position will serve as a valuable resource to local governments and provide an important liaison at NCSU for water quality related agencies in state government. The overall goals of this position will be to improve land use planning policies, site designs of new or re-development, and ordinances to protect water quality. In addition, the position will strive to increase the internal capacity of the local governments to address these issues on their own in the future.