North Carolina - Coastal counties need to present a united front

This might be a good year to re-establish an advocacy group to speak out on shared interests embraced by citizens and local governments within North Carolina’s 20 coastal counties.

As common ground, these counties are all subject to the state’s Coastal Area Management Act (CAMA), which is administered by the Division of Coastal Management, operating within the state’s Department of Environmental Quality.

When CAMA was approved by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1974, the Coastal Resources Commission (CRC) was created to administer the N.C. Coastal Management Program. Among its primary duties, the commission designates areas of environmental concern, adopts rules and policies for coastal development within those areas and certifies local land use plans.”

The CRC is a somewhat political body in that its 13 members are appointed by the governor, the speaker of the House of Representatives and the Senate President Pro Tempore. Eleven of the 13 members must have experience in a particular area of expertise, including land development, coastal engineering, marine science, coastal related business, local government, coastal agriculture, commercial fishing, coastal forestry, sports fishing and wildlife. Two members may be “at-large.”

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