Environment

Environment
10:15 am
Wed April 17, 2013

Exploring Local Greenways: Wake County Creates Natural Corridors

A cyclist on the Capital Area Greenway System in Raleigh.
Credit City of Raleigh

Aside from the fact that Raleigh has a smartphone app for its greenways, the most impressive thing about its trails might be that so many of them are connected. Instead of a dribble of pavement here and there, the Capital Area Greenway System forms a giant loop around the city with several offshoots. There are sections where you can ride a bicycle over 30 miles without leaving a paved trail.

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Environment
3:54 pm
Tue April 16, 2013

Triangle Greenways Council Buys 22 Acres In Durham County For Future Trail

Chunky Pipe Creek
Credit Triangle Greenways Council

Just days after the City of Durham kicked off its trail season, the Triangle Greenways Council (TGC) has finalized a deal allowing for the creation a new greenway in Durham County. The group purchased a parcel of land along Chunky Pipe Creek, about two miles upstream from Falls Lake, Raleigh’s drinking water source (see a map here). The land has already been designated  for a future greenway project in the Durham Open Space Plan.

TGC  bought the land on April 10 from private owners, who will benefit from the NC Conservation Tax Credit and other federal tax deductions that incentivize conservation efforts. The purchase is the fourth parcel that TGC has bought along the creek.  The City of Raleigh provided funding via the Upper Neuse Clean Water Initiative, a consortium of seven conservation groups that aims to protect land important to  the health of drinking water sources in the Upper Neuse River Basin.

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Environment
9:46 am
Tue April 16, 2013

Ready Or Not, Here Come The Cicadas!

A 17-year periodic cicada from the Magicicada genus, similar to the ones that will emerge in parts of North Carolina.
Credit Bruce Marlin, via Wikimedia Commons

North Carolinians in the western Triangle and Triad soon will be visited en masse by the ear-splitting song of the 17-year cicadas. Over the next ten days or so, cicadas from  a group classified as Brood II will begin emerging from the ground and begin a month-long mating frenzy. The females will lay their eggs by sawing little slits into twigs on trees and depositing their eggs into those slits. When the eggs hatch, the nymphs drop to the ground and tunnel into the soil to feed on tree roots, where they'll stay for another 17 years until they become adults.

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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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