ARCHIVE | June, 2011

Undercurrents-June Issue

The newest edition of Undercurrents is now available. Please clink on the “Undercurrents” link on the left header. It will direct you to the June Issue. Inside the summer issue, you will be able to catch up on the latest information about HB 353 and other legislative issues CCA NC has pursued this spring session. There is an article written by Dick Brame explaining why the Gamefish Bill makes sense for North Carolina. Find out details about CCA’s Inside/Out Fishing Tournament scheduled for October and explore the many options CCA has to offer when selecting a guide for your next adventure on the water. Read about how PenderWatch and CCA comes together and builds oyster reefs in Hampstead on a glorious Saturday morning. All this is included in your latest edition of Undercurrents; so start exploring!


PenderWatch, CCA NC, UNCW Build Oyster Reefs in Hampstead

Forty volunteers from PenderWatch & Conservancy, North Carolina Coastal Conservation Association (CCA) and the School of Marine Sciences of the University of North Carolina – Wilmington built 198 feet of oyster reefs on an important but badly eroding island at the mouth of Mill Creek in Hampstead in Pender County, NC on June 11. The reefs were built using 930 mesh bags of oyster shells that PenderWatch collected at its six shell drop-off/collection sites in Pender County over the past two years. The five reefs that were built are the first of twelve reefs that PenderWatch has permission to build under its CAMA Major Permit. The groups plan to build a total of seven reefs before November.

The reefs will stabilize the island from erosion caused by boat wakes from the Intracoastal Waterway, filter polluted water from stormwater runoff and jump start new, bigger natural oyster reefs, which will rejuvenate the waters. The reefs will attract not only oysters but also a wide variety of other marine life, will benefit recreational and commercial fishing and will generally help to develop healthy fish resources in Pender County. PenderWatch volunteers who visited the reefs two days after they were built reported seeing many baby crabs and minnows already swimming around the new reefs.

“We at CCA NC were extremely impressed with PenderWatch’s ability to attract the many volunteers who came out Saturday to help build the reefs”, said Stephen Ammons, Executive Director of CCA NC. “Helping refurbish habitat by creating oyster reefs is one of the many aspects CCA NC can help with in restoring and protecting North Carolina?s marine resources”.

Supervising marine biologist Pat Donovan-Potts of PenderWatch stated: “We expect large numbers of oyster spat to recruit to the reef within the next few weeks. Those spat will reach maturity in three years and new spat will continuously attach to the shells in the reef over the next few years. Each adult oyster can filter up to 50 gallons of water every 24 hours so we are providing habitat and improving water quality at the same time.”

West Marine recently awarded one of its prestigious annual Marine Conservation Grants to CCA NC and PenderWatch to help fund this project. The Marine Conservation Grants are awarded to outstanding non-profit organizations throughout the U.S. who are working to improve and protect marine habitat. “We are proud to support recreational boating and fishing groups and marine environmental groups who are working together for abundant and healthy fisheries,” said Randy Repass, Chairman of the Board and Founder of West Marine.

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