NC - Inside the Plan to Protect North Carolina's Coastal Habitat
State agency leader discusses benefits of strong safeguards—and what comes next
North Carolina’s bays and estuaries are ecologically rich environments that support a wide range of plants and animals, and attract millions of visitors who come to fish, hunt, and otherwise enjoy these extensive ecosystems. The state has long been a leader in effective coastal conservation and, as it does every five years, is updating its Coastal Habitat Protection Plan (CHPP), which state agencies use to guide their work. To learn more about the CHPP, The Pew Charitable Trusts, which is working with partners in the state to protect vital coastal habitats, spoke with Anne Deaton, a supervisor in the Habitat and Enhancement section of the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Q: What drew you to work on coastal and marine issues?
A: I always knew I was happiest outside, near the water. In the small town I grew up in, we had a creek in our neighborhood that went to the lake, and that’s where you could find me and my friends most of the time. When my family moved to Raleigh, North Carolina, I fell in love with the coast. We went there all the time, and I’d go clamming with my dad. I knew I wanted to have a career doing what I loved.