Environment

Environment
5:00 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Coastal Plain Counties Praised For Conservation Efforts

Coastal plain counties where groundwater levels are improving.
Credit NC Division of Water Resources

Officials with the state Division of Water Resources say a new report shows great improvement in groundwater levels over a 15-county area in eastern North Carolina. According to state officials, deep-well, freshwater aquifers in the coastal plain have to stay above full capacity to keep from mixing with saltwater.  If they were to mix, cities would have to spend money to filter out saltwater to make their water is safe to drink.

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Environment
4:22 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

Deadly Bat Fungus Spreading Through Western NC

Bat with white-nose fungus.
Credit Photo courtesy Ryan von Linden/New York Department of Environmental Conservation

A deadly fungus known as white-nose syndrome has been decimating bat populations in the Eastern United States and is spreading quickly through western portions of North Carolina. It was discovered in upstate New York in 2006. The infection is marked by a white frosting of fungus around the bat's nose, ears, and wings.

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Environment
5:00 am
Thu April 11, 2013

18 Named Storms Predicted This Hurricane Season

An image of Hurricane Ivan in 2004.
Credit NASA

Early forecasts predict an active hurricane season along the Atlantic coast. 

Researchers at Colorado State University expect 18 named storms this year.  They say four of those will likely be major storms at Category 3 or higher. 

William Gray, a professor emeritus in Colorado State's atmospheric science department, says this winter's ocean currents follow trends that lead to active storm activity in the tropics.

"This circulation has been especially strong," Gray says.

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Environment
2:16 pm
Wed April 10, 2013

Exploring Local Greenways: Durham Aims For Safety

The American Tobacco Trail where it begins in downtown Durham.
Laura Candler

Durham might seem like it’s crisscrossed with bike lanes and greenways now – from the American Tobacco Trail (ATT) on the southern edge of town to the North/South Greenway that picks up where the ATT leaves off in the city. But 30 years ago, that was not the case.

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Environment
2:15 pm
Tue April 9, 2013

Ready For Pollen Season? Here’s What You Should Know

Catkins on a pine tree
Credit Donald Lee Pardue, via Flickr, Creative Commons

It’s April, and the scent of flowers is in the air. Unfortunately for allergy sufferers, those flowers also mean that it’s pollen season.  North Carolina pollen counts have been mostly low so far this year, but in the past couple days the count has risen dramatically.

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Environment
11:38 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Exploring Local Greenways: Greensboro's Artistic Twist

The Spring Garden St. underpass on Greensboro's Downtown Greenway. Primary Flight, a Miami-based street art collective, was chosen to design and paint colorful murals on each of seven large scale concrete support structures.
Action Greensboro

With springtime comes the urge to get outdoors, and in a handful of North Carolina’s cities and towns, a growing network of greenways is making that easier to do. While North Carolina does not stand out nationally for its volume of bicycle commuters (it ranks 41st in the country), it does have a higher bike commuting rate than any neighboring state except Virginia. And several of North Carolina’s cities have adopted transportation plans to accommodate a higher volume pedestrians and cyclists.

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Environment
7:46 am
Mon April 8, 2013

Paddling For Renewable Energy On The OBX

Resolute Marine Energy tested its paddle device off the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' pier near Duck, NC.
Credit U.S. Army Corps of Engineers / www.frf.usace.army.mil

A renewable energy company says it's testing a prototype that could produce energy from ocean waves near the Outer Banks. 

Boston-based Resolute Marine Energy says it tested the equipment for two months off the coast of Duck this winter.  Engineer Cliff Goudey says the device has a large piece of fiberglass that waves back and forth like a barn door.

"It sits out on the bottom offshore just outside the breaking wave zone," Goudey says.

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Environment
5:13 pm
Fri April 5, 2013

New Emissions Standards Could Make Natural Gas Cheaper Than Coal

Riverbend Steam Station, a coal-fired generating facility in Gaston County, NC, will be retired by 2015. It is run by Duke Energy.
Credit Duke Energy via Flickr, Creative Commons

A new study from Duke University says new air quality standards could spur a shift away from coal power to natural gas as a means of generating electricity.  A natural gas boom has already made it almost as cheap as coal to turn into electricity, but when researchers factored in new emissions standards from the Environmental Protection Agency, they found that most coal electricity will become as expensive as gas, even if gas prices rise.

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Environment
9:35 am
Fri April 5, 2013

Which NC Roadside Has The Best Wildflowers?

Best Overall Division Wildflower Program - 1st Place - Div 4
NC DOT

When it comes to deciding on the best roadside blooms, North Carolina has a lot of options to choose from. Each year, the N.C. Department Of Transportation Wildflower Awards are given to the most eye-popping flower beds across the state and to the division with the best overall wildflower program. On Wednesday in Raleigh, Governor Pat McCrory and NCDOT Secretary Tony Tata announced the 2012 winners and recognized the contributions of two individuals – former Governor Jim Martin and former First Lady Dottie Martin – for their contribution to the Wildflower Program.

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Environment
5:00 am
Fri March 29, 2013

Greensboro Resident Still Upset Over Tree Trimming

Stumps like this one have become more common in Greensboro neighborhoods. Duke energy says it cuts when necessary. Residents think the company is being too aggressive.
Credit Jeff Tiberii

Greensboro residents are upset with Duke Energy again over its tree trimming practices in the city, this time because of pruning around major transmission lines. Concerned locals are taking to Facebook and asking local leaders to do more.

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