Coastal Communities

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President Donald Trump announced a 10-year moratorium on offshore drilling off the coasts of Georgia, Florida and South Carolina last week. It appears on the surface to be a win for concerned environmentalists, but citizens in North Carolina are left wondering: Why were North Carolina coasts left unprotected?   

Dave DeWitt / WUNC

Orrin Pilkey was sounding the alarm about climate change and sea level rise long before the topics were part of public consciousness. As an early whistleblower, his work was not always well received, but he pressed on and has authored and edited dozens of books about the environment in the past few decades. His latest book, co-authored with his son Keith, takes a look at some of the unexpected ways climate-related sea level rise will affect the lives and livelihoods of people across the United States.

Courtesy of Karen Willis Amspacher

Coping and recovering from a crisis is nothing new for North Carolina’s coastal residents. Hurricanes have altered life for generations of families along the Atlantic seaboard who regularly weather floods, evacuations and damage to homes and communities.

ReadyNC

A year after Florence, Dorian restarts the cycle of disaster preparedness, damage control, and recovery. Florence’s toll was especially harsh on North Carolina’s Spanish-only speakers, who were not included in many state and local outreach efforts before and after the storm.

US Army Corps Of Engineers

In the town of Duck on the Outer Banks, all beaches are open to the public. But the walkways to the beaches are not, as all access points are private property controlled and maintained by subdivisions and home owner's associations. Town officials say that’s not by design. Duck incorporated in 2003, after all the oceanfront properties had been developed.

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A $4 million dollar appropriation in the state Senate’s budget would enable Audubon North Carolina to purchase a portion of one of the state's last undeveloped barrier islands.

Turning Ocean Waves Into Drinking Water

Jul 3, 2016
photo of launching SAROS into the ocean
Michael Beswick/The Outer Banks Voice

A North Carolina start-up company is testing a device that turns ocean water into fresh drinking water. Their technology uses wave energy exclusively to power reverse osmosis.

Chris Matthews, Justin Sonnett and Laura Smailes co-founded EcoH20 Innovations in 2014, but its inaugural project’s roots go back a year further. Matthews and Sonnett began working on the SAROS desalination device during their senior year at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, where they were both studying mechanical engineering.