Local leaders and science experts speak on threats to North Carolina’s coast

Local leaders hear from science experts on threats to North Carolina’s coast
Published: Oct. 13, 2021 at 7:47 PM EDT
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - Congressman Greg Murphy brought together local government leaders and environmental science experts to hear about current threats to the east’s coastal regions and plan for possible outcomes.

The conference was the first meeting of what will become an annual convergence on the topic.

“The fact that we have all of the representation... county commissioners, our legislatures at the state, our congressional representatives... in one room, listening, and hopefully acting on what we’re doing, it doesn’t happen very often,” Dr. Reide Corbett, dean and professor of ECU’s Integrated Coastal Programs said. “I’m thrilled to be a part of it.”

Corbett presented to the summit attendees on rising sea level threats and how active legislation needs to be custom-fit to the needs of each area.

“We need to look at it spatially and across different time scales,” said Corbett.

The event was hosted by Congressman Murphy.

He said there is no need to reinvent the wheel when it comes to tackling coastal conservation, but there is a need to act soon to save our waterways from further damage.

“We brought together, really, a brain trust of people to identify the problem and deal with it and then implement plans to take care of things in the future that deal with flooding and waterway management.”

Congressman Greg Murphy

Next, Murphy says there will need to be policy sessions, meetings with environmental agencies, and hard decisions made in the best interests of our coastal areas.

“This is about learning and learning from each other and learning from a lot of smart people in the room, but it can’t end today,” said Murphy. “It has to end up with legislation. It has to end up with policies. It has to end up actually affecting the way that we live in Eastern North Carolina.”

With an emphasis on human intervention to climate-driven disasters, the summit hopes to spark changes from which the communities along the Eastern shore of North Carolina can benefit.

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