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Coastal Habitat Protection Plan Meeting Set

WASHINGTON — The Coastal Habitat Protection Plan Steering Committee will meet at 1 p.m. Tuesday to review progress on priority fish habitat issues and discuss upcoming flights to identify submerged aquatic vegetation, the state Division of Environmental Quality announced Tuesday.

The meeting will be held in the state DEQ’s Washington regional office, 943 Washington Square Mall.

The steering committee, which includes two commissioners from the Marine Fisheries, Coastal Management and Environmental Management commissions, reviews and approves the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan, recommendations and implementation actions, according to DEQ.

The North Carolina Coastal Habitat Protection Plan, the result of state’s Fisheries Reform Act, passed by the General Assembly in 1997, addresses habitat and water quality efforts needed to protect, enhance and restore fish habitat in North Carolina. The initial plan that was completed in 2005 is reviewed and updated, as necessary, on a five-year cycle.

The steering committee also meets regularly to discuss habitat and water quality issues and solutions as well as receive updates on Coastal Habitat Protection Plan progress. Members of the steering committee serve as liaisons to their full commissions.

The Albermarle-Pamlico National Estuarine PartnershipWildlife Resource CommissionDivision of Energy, Mineral and Land ResourcesDivision of Mitigation Services, and Soil and Water Conservation Districts have participated in the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan process.

For more information, contact Jimmy Johnson, coastal habitats coordinator with the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership, at 252-948-3952 or Anne Deaton with the Division of Marine Fisheries’ Habitat and Enhancement Section at 910-796-7311.

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The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.