Environment

Environment
5:47 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

Researchers Unveil New Program That May Predict Storm Landfall

NOAA satellite picture of Hurricane Hugo in 1989. A new hurricane predictor model unveiled at Coastal Carolina University is named for the storm that hit South and North Carolina.
Credit NOAA

Weather forecasters may soon have a new tool that could predict a hurricane's landfall more accurately. Researchers at Coastal Carolina University say the Hurricane Genesis and Outlook -- or HUGO -- project uses climate factors and data from previous storm seasons to predict where a storm will hit up to five days in advance. 

The new model could mean more focused information when it comes to coastal evacuations.

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Environment
1:04 pm
Fri August 2, 2013

State Sues Alcoa Over Ownership Of Yadkin River

Alcoa's Narrows Dam with Badin Lake in the background, on the Yadkin River
Credit Nancy Pierce Photo / DO NOT USE

The State of North Carolina is suing ALCOA over ownership of submerged water along the Yadkin River.

The basic elements of this story are water, hydroelectric dams and naturally, lots of money. ALCOA owns four dams along the Yadkin River that make electricity. Those dams used to provide power for an ALCOA aluminum smelting plant in Stanly County, where the company once had hundreds of employees. The company wants another 50-year federal license to operate the dams. But the factory is closed, the electricity produced is sold out of state and there is a question about who owns the river bed. 

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Environment
2:00 pm
Wed July 31, 2013

N.C. Zoo's Baby Gorillas Celebrate First Birthday

Baby gorillas Bomassa (left) and Apollo (far right) with moms Jamani (second from left) and Olympia will both get a first-birthday party at the N.C. Zoo on August 3.
Credit N.C. Zoo photo by Diane Villa

Baby gorillas Bomassa and Apollo, who were born at the North Carolina Zoo, have reached a milestone: their first birthdays. 

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The State of Things
12:22 pm
Thu July 25, 2013

Film Travels The Country Exploring Sustainable Community

The poster for the film 'Within Reach' which screens Monday, July 29th at the Motorco Music Hall in Durham, NC.
Credit withinreachmovie.com/freestore

Film director Derek Alan Rowe and executive director of Sustain-A-Bull Amy Campbell decipher the meaning of "sustainable community" and talk about their recent endeavors

The words "sustainable" and "community" have quickly become buzz words in our society. But filmmaker Derek Alan Rowe wanted to know what it really meant to live sustainably.

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Environment
3:30 pm
Wed July 24, 2013

Sea Turtles Snagged; NC Regulators Suspend Gill Nets

A leatherback turtle hooked and entangled in a fishing net.
Credit NMFS/SEFSC

State environmental officials are suspending certain fish nets along the coast after at least eight sea turtles were trapped. 

The state Division of Marine Fisheries says the suspension goes into effect at sunset Wednesday for what are known as large-mesh gill nets.  Anglers leave the nets out overnight this time of year to trap flounder. 

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Environment
5:08 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

35-Acre Solar Farm Under Construction In Orange County

A Strata Solar farm
Credit Strata Solar

A new six megawatt solar farm is under construction the Orange County community of White Cross. When it’s completed, it will be the second largest in the Triangle. The project is being designed by Chapel Hill based company, Strata Solar. The firm's Blair Schoof says when it's up and running, the 35-acre farm will provide energy for about 750 homes.

Strata Solar is the state's largest solar developer, responsible for generating more than 145 megawatts around the state. Schoof says two farms in the Triangle area are already operational with eight more planned for next year.

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Environment
4:15 pm
Thu July 18, 2013

Federal Agency To Protect Sea Turtle Habitat Along NC Coast

Loggerhead sea turtle
Credit US Fish and Wildlife Service

Officials with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are estimating the cost of designating special loggerhead sea turtle habitats along the Southeast coast.  The federal agency released a draft proposal saying it will cost $150,000 annually to protect areas in North Carolina and five other states.  

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Environment
4:57 pm
Tue July 16, 2013

Duke Energy Proposes Settlement Over Coal Ash Pond Leaks

A Duke Energy power plant and coal ash ponds outside Asheville.
Credit zen Sutherland

Duke Energy has reached a tentative settlement with state regulators regarding lawsuits over leaks from its coal ash ponds in Asheville and on the Catawba River.  The company has agreed to pay a $100,000 fine.  The consent order would require the company to determine the cause and the extent of those leaks into groundwater and into Mountain Island Lake, the source of Charlotte’s water supply.  Susan Massengale with the state division of water quality says the agreement lays out a timeline for Duke to do that.

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Environment
7:43 am
Mon July 15, 2013

Getting To The Shore Of Cape Hatteras

The National Park Service has multi-million-dollar plans to create more beach access points.
Credit Outer Banks Real Estate / Flickr Creative Commons

The National Park Service wants to hear from the public about plans to create more beach access points at Cape Hatteras National Seashore. 

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Environment
2:00 pm
Fri July 12, 2013

New Study To Research Local Hurricane Evacuation Behaviors

Credit Wikimedia Commons

A new survey will gather information about coastal residents' attitudes and behaviors regarding hurricane evacuations. For the next month, local and state emergency officials will be conducting phone interviews to find out how residents react to evacuations and how to better implement emergency practices, like transportation and sheltering decisions. The study is being conducted for North Carolina Emergency Management and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Wilmington District. 

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