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NC Oyster Blueprint Workshop Canceled

Oyster sanctuaries, such as this one in Pamlico Sound, are intended to boost oyster populations throughout the estuary. Photo: N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries.

Update 2:45 p.m. March 12: Organizers have canceled the N.C. Oyster Blueprint Workshop due to elevated concerns about the COVID-19 outbreak and contagion as well as increasing travel restrictions. There will be opportunities later in the year to engage on the Draft N.C.Oyster Blueprint Goals and Actions.

As part of the process to update the N.C. Oyster Blueprint: An Action Plan for Restoration and Protection, a workshop is to take place in Beaufort March 16-17 to better understand views on the benefits that oysters provide, perceived threats to the state’s oysters and suggestions for future action.

Hosted by the North Carolina Coastal Federation and North Carolina Oyster Steering Committee, the two-day workshop at Beaufort Hotel is an opportunity for stakeholders and the public to provide input and feedback to steer the next edition of the Oyster Blueprint.

During the workshop, draft goals and actions for the blueprint will be presented and there will be facilitated discussions to help highlight key actions that should be planned and prioritized for the next five years of oyster work in the state. Participants also will consider revised actions for inclusion in the next five-year edition of the blueprint.

The update will be the fourth edition of the blueprint. The third edition, A Blueprint for Action 2015-2020, builds off of earlier 2003-2013 Blueprint Major Accomplishments. The previous editions, 2003-2008 and 2008-2014, are available online as well as background on the initiative that began in 2003 to protect and restore the state’s oyster habitats and fishery.

Speakers during the workshop include Sen. Harry Brown, R-Onslow, Sen. Norm Sanderson, R-Pamlico, state Department of Commerce Assistant Secretary Kenny Flowers, educators, and representatives from the Coastal Federation, North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve, The Pew Charitable Trusts, Division of Marine Fisheries, Town of Beaufort and others.

Event registration is $25, which covers lunch March 16 and other costs associated with holding the workshop. The public is encouraged to attend but must register online by Thursday, March 12. Registered participants are invited to meet from 5-7 p.m. March 16 in the lobby of the of the Beaufort Hotel. Contact Erin Fleckenstein at erinf@nccoast.org for help with registration.

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Staff Report

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