Environment

Environment
6:29 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

NC's Fracking Rules: Public Comment Hearing Tonight In Sanford

A drill rig in Pennsylvania's Marcellus Shale.
Credit Ken Skipper, USGS

State officials are holding a hearing in Sanford today on proposed rules for hydraulic fracturing. Hundreds are expected to attend.

Fracking is a form of shale gas extraction, and it's controversial, among other things, because of it's a serious contamination threat to drinking water.

So as the North Carolina Mining and Energy Commission shares its proposed rules for the industry, many people are interested. Earlier this week, hundreds packed an auditorium at N-C State in Raleigh.

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Environment
10:30 am
Tue August 19, 2014

[VIDEO] One-Of-A-Kind NC Camp Teaches Basics Of Wildlife Field Research

Campers at the NC Zoo in Asheboro learn to use radio telemetry
Credit NC Zoo

A dozen lucky kids tented overnight on the grounds of the NC Zoo recently. They were taking part in a one-of-a-kind summer camp. Carol Jackson tagged along with a video camera.

Usually when kids camp overnight at a zoo they look closely at the animals and learn from the keepers, or maybe the veterinarians.

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Environment
2:19 pm
Wed August 13, 2014

Using Urban Design To Combat Climate Change

Franklin Street in downtown Chapel Hill
Credit Town of Chapel Hill

Forestry experts and urban designers are gathering in Raleigh this week to discuss the effects of climate change on the urban landscape. The North Carolina Urban Forestry Conference is centered on how to design city spaces to cope with and help prevent rising temperatures.

It's not just about finding more places for shade trees (though that's something forestry types would certainly applaud). Scientists are also considering how to combat an increase in pests that prey on trees not suited for greater temperatures.

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Environment
11:42 am
Tue August 12, 2014

What's Next For Offshore Wind In North Carolina?

Credit Board of Ocean Energy Management

On Monday, the Obama administration announced about 300,000 acres of land of the North Carolina coast that will be explored for possible offshore wind development. The announcement includes three locations for potential development - two near Wilmington and one about 30 nautical miles off the coast of Kill Devil Hills.

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Animals
12:50 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

[VIDEO] Newborn Lion Cubs At NC Zoo

On July 30,2014 the North Carolina Zoo’s female lion Mekita and male lion Reilly welcomed four cubs.
Credit NC Zoo

July 30, a lion gave birth to four cubs at The North Carolina Zoo. It's the first birth since October 2006. The four cubs are not on exhibit now, but the zoo has made a behind-the-scenes video of them available. They are with mother Mekita:

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Environment
11:54 am
Mon August 4, 2014

[VIDEO] Would You Be A Foster Family For Bees? 45 Said Yes So Far

This little girl is posing at her grandmother's home in Chapel Hill. She made the sign behind her to welcome the bees.
Credit Carol Jackson

Marty Hanks loves everything about bees. He manages colonies in several counties around the state. If bees are bugging you, he will  remove them for free. But what makes Marty's business unique is not just that he removes the bees -- many beekeepers do that.

It's  that he finds foster families for them.

WUNC's Carol Jackson reports:

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Environment
5:01 pm
Tue July 29, 2014

'Megalopolis' To Stretch From Raleigh To Atlanta?

Credit Maureen Sill / Flickr/Creative Commons

Researchers at NC State University and the U.S. Geological Survey predict that urban areas in the south will double in size by 2060. If the rate and style of urban sprawl continues, farm and forest land will give way to a "megalopolis" that stretches from Raleigh to Atlanta.

USGS Research Ecologist Adam Terando says the pattern of decentralized development (meaning houses with yards and on cul-de-sacs as well as roadside business centers) will mean cutting further into wildlife habitats.

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Environment
8:48 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Six Months After The Spill: Tourism Flows, Tobacco Grows and Questions Linger Along The Dan River

Tourism is doing well along the Dan River in Rockingham County, a few miles upstream from the site of a massive coal ash spill in February.
Credit Jeff Tiberii

Following a massive coal ash spill into the Dan River in February, The Department of Health and Human Services issued an advisory downstream from the site, recommending people stay out of the water. Now, after surface water and soil testing, state health officials say recreational use of the Dan River is safe.

 

It has now been almost six months since a Duke Energy storm water pipe ruptured near the Virginia border, sending 39,000 tons of potentially toxic material into the Dan River. Some of the effects have been marginal and others remain unknown.

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Environment
8:05 am
Tue July 22, 2014

Panel Meets To Look At Sea-Level Rise... Again

A woman photographs a house as waves overtake its stilts on Mirlo Beach in March.
Credit Eric Mennel / WUNC

The panel responsible for studying sea-level rise along North Carolina's coast met Monday in New Bern. It was the first meeting under a new mandate to look at the forecast for sea-level rise for a shorter time period.

Four years ago the Coastal Resources Commission's science panel issued a dire report saying oceans could rise 39 inches by the year 2100. The state then issued a moratorium on using that prediction for policy purposes. The new guidelines for the science panel call for a 30-year prediction.

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Environment
7:16 am
Tue July 22, 2014

'SolarBees' Poised To Churn Jordan Lake

DENR will use 36 water churning devices, or 'SolarBees', in Jordan Lake to keep algae from growing in stagnant water.
Credit JT Taylor / Flickr/Creative Commons

State environmental officials are overseeing the installation of special machines in Jordan Lake starting today. 

SolarBees are water circulators intended to prevent algae from storm water runoff from forming in the lake.  Installers are placing a total of 36 machines: 12 in the Haw River arm of the lake and 24 more in the Morgan Creek tributary.  

Susan Massengale is a spokeswoman with the state Department of Environment and Natural Resources.  She says this step begins 18 months of water testing.

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