North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources
NC Division of Coastal Management
NC Coast Scene

Fast Facts :: Habitat Protection

Coastal Habitat Protection Plan

As part of the Fisheries Reform Act of 1997, the N.C. General Assembly required the Coastal Resources, Marine Fisheries and Environmental Management commissions to approve plans to help protect and restore resources critical to North Carolina's commercial and recreational fisheries. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources has spent the past few years developing the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan (CHPP), which must protect habitats including wetlands, spawning areas, threatened and endangered species habitat, primary and secondary nursery areas, shellfish beds, submerged aquatic vegetation and Outstanding Resource Waters.

The three commissions officially approved the CHPP in December 2004.

CHPP recommendations fall under four broad goals:
• Improve the effectiveness of existing rules and programs protecting coastal fish habitats.
• Identify, designate and protect Strategic Habitat Areas.
• Enhance and protect habitats from physical impacts.
• Enhance and protect water quality.

CHPP 2010 Revision

As part of the five year review of the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan (CHPP), the CHPP Steering Committee has met over the past several months to update and revise the CHPP. These revisions reflect changes in the CHPP recommendations as the result of accomplishments, new information based on scientific studies as well as additional emphasis on issues such as sea level rise, climate change, invasive species and endocrine-disrupting chemicals. The goals and revisions are designed to achieve the CHPP’s goal of “long-term enhancement of coastal fisheries associated with each coastal habitat.” The six fish habitats identified in the CHPP are: Water Column, Wetlands, Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV), Shell Bottom, Hard Bottom and Soft Bottom.

In addition, the CHPP Steering Committee revises Implementation Plans every two years, containing action items for the participating commissions: Environmental Management Commission, Coastal Resources Commission, Marine Fisheries Commission and the Wildlife Resources Commission, and their supporting agencies.

Viewing the revised “Draft” Coastal Habitat Protection Plan

The revised “Draft” Coastal Habitat Protection Plan can be accessed on the the One NC Naturally website.

Public Meetings in June

As part of the review process, a series of public meetings will be held in order to review the new information as well as to receive public comment on the proposed changes and updates. The meetings will be held from 7-9 p.m. on June 8, 2010 in Morehead City, June 14, 2010 in Wilmington and June 17, 2010 in Manteo.

Meeting Dates and Directions to each of the meeting locations:

June 8, 2010 – Morehead City
Morehead City Central District Office
5285 Hwy 70 West
Morehead City, NC  28557

Directions:
Corner of Hwy 70 West and Little Nine Road.
Driving East, building on right just past Britt Motorsports and Wildwood Fire Department.
Driving West from Morehead City, turn left at the first intersection past the light at Ruby Tuesday’s
and Lowes Home Improvement.

June 14, 2010 – Wilmington
DENR Wilmington Regional Office (WiRO) – June 14
127 Cardinal Drive Extension
Wilmington, NC  28405

Directions:
From I-40: On I-40 make a left turn onto Martin Luther King (to US 17 North to Jacksonville). Take next left onto US 17
North to Jacksonville. Turn right onto Cardinal Drive Extension. WiRO is approximately 500 yards on left. Visitor
parking is in the front, handicapped parking is at the side door facing the pond.

From NC 74: Take NC 74 to 17th Street in Wilmington. Make a right onto US 17 North and East 74 (Market Street). You will
go under the overpass for I-40. Approximately 1 mile from this intersection is Cardinal Drive Extension to the Right.
WiRO is approximately 500 yards on left. Visitor parking is in the front, handicapped parking is at the side door facing the pond.

From US 17 Jacksonville: At the Market Street (US 17) and Gordon Road intersection – continue on Market for
approximately 2 miles. Make a left turn on to Cardinal Drive Extension. WiRO is approximately 500 yards on left.
Visitor parking is in the front, handicapped parking is at the side door facing the pond.

June 17, 2010 - Manteo
Manteo Library
Highway 64 and Burnside Road
Manteo, NC  27954

Directions:
Across from the Elementary School

 

 

Last Modified: May 26, 2010

N.C. Division of Coastal Management . 400 Commerce Ave . Morehead City, NC 28557
1-888-4RCOAST . Email Us