1 | Environment & Nature

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The following articles and photos were published on Coastal Review Online, a nonprofit news service covering the environmental issues of the North Carolina coast. Its publisher is the North Carolina Coastal Federation, a nonprofit organization that focuses on protecting and restoring the coast of North Carolina through education, advocacy, and habitat preservation and restoration.

drilling-port-375Offshore Drilling & Morehead City

While offshore drilling is unlikely to spawn great industrial development along the N.C. coast, Morehead City could become a port to service and supply any drilling rigs off the coast.

pulseII-John-Pletl-2Taking the Pulse of the Coast

Reporter travel the North Carolina coast to talk with people about offshore drilling. This, the first of a week-long series of stories, begins the journey in Calabash.

Holden-Beach-Pier-Pat-Moss-e1435779574711Some Favor Drilling; Others Don’t

Some people tell our traveling reporter that they’d welcome the jobs that offshore drilling might bring; other worry what spills would do to the beaches and tourism.

santa_monica_photo_by_nancy_smith-350Protesters to Join Hands Against Oil, Coal

Hundreds of North Carolinians will take 15 minutes Saturday to join hands with strangers in a peaceful demonstration against fossil fuels.

down-east-2-720x389Part I: Saltwater Intrusion Is Changing the Coast

Saltwater’s slow movement inland has accelerated in recent years. It kills trees, harms crops, destroys the very land itself. Its effects are particularly pronounced in the agricultural region between the Albemarle and Pamlico sounds. 

canals-720x480 Part II: Study Looks to Locals on Saltwater Intrusion

Five researchers are investigating the future risks of saltwater intrusion on the Albemarle-Pamlico peninsula and how the area’s residents will play a role in conserving their natural resources.

forested-wetlands1-400x267Part III: Saltwater Intrusion: The Parts You Can’t See

The quality of the water, the nutrients in the soil and the exchange of greenhouse gasses hang in the balance as saltwater moves farther inland than it ever has before. Five researchers are working to help people prepare for what’s ahead.

full-moon-bland1-400Beaver Moon Doesn’t Disappoint

The cloud cover lifted and the hearts on the boat soared. A full moon hung over Bogue Sound, inspiring the artistic souls of the nature photographers on board. 

LS-after-400The Challenge of Living Shorelines

A new report confirms that these more natural ways to control erosion are better for the environment than bulkheads, but few waterfront property owners use them.

boem-diver2Making the Unknown Known

To prepare for possible wind-energy development, researchers are mapping the seafloor off the N.C. coast, a vast uncharted territory. 

flytrap-420The Insect Assassin Sends Poachers to Prison

Soon it will be a felony to poach Venus flytraps from the wild in North Carolina. This strange plant that lures, attacks and eats bugs only grows naturally in one place in the world: a 90-mile radius around Wilmington.

tropical reefsThe Tropical Reefs of North Carolina?

Prompted by the prospect of wind energy development off North Carolina’s coast, researchers are finding reefs with tropical fish and corals right off our coast. 

shark-thumbThe State of the Sharks

Some say sharks are endangered, others that great whites are on the surge. We take you on a shark research ship to learn what’s happening to our coast’s top predators.

earthwise-thumbCommunity Farm Takes Root in Carteret

The N.C. Coastal Federation’s EarthWise farm started with a seed — first planted in the imagination of an old man and then in the soil by his children.

bluecarbon-thumbRestored Coastal Marshes Fight Climate Change

That’s what researchers found at the N.C. Coastal Federation’s wetland restoration project in Carteret County. It’s all about the blue carbon. But what is blue carbon?

LWF-thumbFederation Hits Milestone on Lockwood Folly

The N.C. Coastal Federation’s recently completed oyster restoration project marks the end of years of work in the river, at least for now.

carrot-island-thumbMarsh Planting Stabilizes Island

A marsh planting on Carrot Island near Beaufort will protect its rapidly eroding shoreline and show people how to control erosion without resorting to bulkheads. 

island-cleanup-thumbPutting the “Sea” in Cleanup

This summer the N.C. Coastal Federation is taking people out on the water to pick up marine debris from local islands.

Oyster-thumb Part I: What’s in Those Oysters You’re Eating?

A recent study takes a closer look at what’s accumulating in the oysters of Brunswick and New Hanover counties. In the first of two parts, we detail the research of a contaminant banned in Europe but commonly used here.

oysters-part 2-thumbPart II: Study Finds Heavy Metals in Oysters

In the second of two parts, we detail the levels of heavy metals a recent study found in oysters in Brunswick and New Hanover counties.

joanna-coleMeet the Author of the Magic School Bus

This Saturday is your chance to eat ice cream with Joanna Cole and hear her read from her children’s book on the climate challenge.

maysville_pointing_300Learning is Appreciating

It was something of an Earth Day for the third- and fourth-grade students at Maysville Elementary school on their field trip to Bear Island. For many, it was their first trip to the beach.

sale-dogwood-300Annual Native Plant Sale Set for Saturday

Hundreds of native coastal plants will be available Saturday at the N.C. Coastal Federation’s 11th annual Native Plant Sale.

LID-summit-peterson-275LID Draws a Packed House in Raleigh

A conference on low-impact development drew hundreds of people to hear about promising techniques to control runoff that is poisoning the state’s waterways.

birding-cruise-heron-400Our Coast: A Spring for the Birds

Ungainly brown pelicans, stately blue herons and boldly patterned oystercatchers are just some of the birds you can see on cruises sponsored by the N.C. Coastal Federation this spring.

river bluffSpreading the Word About Runoff Control

Burrows Smith, a Wilmington developer, will be one of the attendees at a conference next month who will be preaching about new methods to control poisoned runoff to protect coastal waters.

closed area Joining Forces to Help Troubled Creeks 

Two non-profits, a couple of universities, a local business and a city have been working together to bring two Wilmington creeks on the road to recovery.

guidebook-barrels-240A New Approach to Polluted Waters 

The N.C. Coastal Federation will soon publish a new guidebook that will offer cheaper, simpler methods for restoring our polluted coastal rivers and streams.

 Teaming Up for Clean Water

Volunteers helped the N.C. Coastal Federation and Habitat for Humanity build rain gardens and install cisterns at a Habitat house in Brunswick County to help control stormwater.

 Reviving the Heartbeat of Sunset

The rhythmic, thumping sound that cars made crossing the old pontoon bridge was called the heartbeat of Sunset Beach. Though the old bridge has been replaced, the heartbeat remains.

Glimpse Behind the Fish Tanks

The state aquarium at Fort Fisher offers behind-the-scenes tours that bring you nose-to-nose with all kinds of sea critters, like this porcupine puffer.

Building Simple While Building Green

There will come a day when low-impact development is simply development. When that day comes it may look something like the house that Toni and John Cornelius built in Wilmington.

Smart Yards Can Be Smart Investments

A free booklet, “Smart Yards,” offers inexpensive ways to cut polluted runoff from your property to protect water quality and save money.

Now, This Is a Serious Beach Walk

Maybe someone has walked the length of every beach along North Carolina’s coast, but Peter and Cathy Meyer are the first to write an iBook about it.

 Our Coast: Take a Kayak Tour of New Hanover

New Hanover County Parks and Gardens and canoe and kayak outfitter Hook, Line & Paddle bring local water lovers a series of kayak eco-tours.

 Looking for Answers to Help Terrapins

Diamondback terrapins were once abundant in our coast’s marshes, creeks and sounds. Their population has declined, and researchers at the University of North Carolina-Wilmington hope to find some answers.

Remembering the Fight to Save Bird Island

Residents who fought for 10 years to stop development of the island near Sunset Beach will gather this week to dedicate a kiosk that describes the fight and why it was worth waging.

Wilmington School Will Get Green Award

Bradley Creek Elementary School’s work to control runoff and provide an outdoor classroom of flowers, insects and amphibians will be honored today as an outstanding achievement in sustainable building.

  Fishing for Art off N.C. Piers

A look at Courtney Johnson’s exhibition Light Lure, Underwater Pinhole Photographs of North Carolina Piers, and the disappearance of North Carolina’s fishing piers.

The following articles and photos were published in  Lowcountry Weekly from my environmentally-based editorial column “The Outsider”. 

 “The Huntsmen”

A bow hunter, a sheriff deputy and taxidermist, a hunting club president and a good ‘ol boy anticipate hunting season revealing the differences among deer hunters.

 “Start to Finish”

Foraging and cooking wild chanterelle mushrooms with my father.

“New Oyster Cult”

“New Oyster Cult” proposal for a system that uses a Living System design with Biorock technology to produce oysters twice as fast with half the mortality, thereby naturally cleaning local estuaries at little cost. 

“The Maternal Instinct”

Taking the proper wildlife rescue steps when encountering a fawn that appears abandoned.  

 “One of Nature’s Greatest Stories”

The story of the horseshoe crab and a shorebird called the Red Knot, and the synchronicity of their fragile existence in Beaufort’s Important Bird Area (IBA).

“The Nature of Earth Day”

This Earth Day we’ll ask ourselves: Am I sensitive or am I proactive? 

 “Nature and The Box”

Nature photography, an excursion with photographer Eric Horan.

 “An Expedition”

Kayaking Beaufort, South Carolina’s Hunting Island State Park.


The following articles were published on Eat, Sleep, Play Beaufort.

“The Route 21 Produce Project: Part I” Introducing Beaufort’s local produce stands. 

“When it’s a choice: local or organic?” Choosing between buying local or organic produce.

“Sea turtles are everywhere” Local discovers first sea turtle nest of the season.

“Kayak Beaufort for the perfect view” Exploring Beaufort’s vast river system on the Nucanoe Frontier kayak.

“Turn fall leaves to gold” Do-it-yourself: building a compost bin and learning the benefits.


The following article was published in The Island News

  “Christmas Bird Count”

Dec. 17, 2011 marks Fripp Audubon Club’s third Christmas Bird Count and Audubon’s 112th.


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