Monthly Archives: April 2010

Life in the Redzone

Coastal landslides create hazardous conditions.

Stockton, Maine is familiar with the damage that a landslide can accomplish in a designated “redzone”. Recently three houses slid into the ocean and a railway nearby is becoming dangerously close to a very slippery slope.

Coastal landslides are becoming a problem all over the world, but it is the job of the city council for each town to prevent and promote better building practices in order to protect not only the landowner but also the environment. The City of Newport is taking a strong and very unpopular stand on trying to implement better building practices as well as making current homeowners aware of the perilous position they have built a life on.

The resistance has been strong and a group called the “Central Coast Home & Business Association” has raised over $25,000 towards fighting the city. The group has posted anti-measure flyers and has reached far into the coastal community for support. Some residents have written very strong letters against the proposed changes and have indicated they will seek legal action if the measure is approved. Jonathan Allan, a coastal geomorphologist with the Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, has been to the city several times mapping and reviewing data. It is the recommendation of the DOGAMI that the zoning changes are put into effect to educate and protect. Citizens however, are extremely worried about property values declining once these laws go into effect. It is a continuing battle that will be resolved within the next few months as more board meetings and negotiations take place. The City of Newport is diligently working to provide a solution for both the landowners and the environment and they are confident that there is a workable agreement to be had.

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J202- Assignment 2

Safety over Dollars

The city of Newport fights to update zoning laws.

There is a battle ensuing as landowners fight to retain the current hazardous zoning laws in order to protect the value of their land; both current and future dwellings could be affected by the proposed changes that may be approved by the Newport City Council as early as June. The city council views the problem differently; it’s primary goal is to update the zonal maps from the 1970’s to a survey done in 2004. The city also wants homeowners to file liability waivers and disclosure agreements to protect both the city and future dwellers from liability. Coastal storms can wreak havoc on properties, but so can updating hazardous zoning laws.

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Assignment #1-Loggerhead Turtle Article

Recently in my journalism class, we were given an assignment to read an article on Loggerhead turtles and summarize it for our readers (you) to enjoy. We were also asked to include three links for expanded information. Here is my summary and links to other Loggerhead turtle articles that might be of interest. Listed below my summary is the original link to the Loggerhead turtle article. Please feel free to leave any comments or questions for me. Enjoy the story.

Proposed Protection for Loggerhead Turtles

Loggerhead turtle populations have declined and the United States Fish and Wildlife Service is proposing rule changes to ensure their survival.

Last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the National Marine Fisheries Service issued a proposal to separate the Loggerhead population into nine separate protected status populations. Key names would be changed to accommodate this new classification system . The proposed changes are in direct correlation to the nesting decreases that are between 41-87%. The turtle’s would move from the “threatened” to “endangered” status.

The proposed regulatory move is expected to take effect this summer. Fisherman and interested parties are concerned about the effect that these new restrictions may have on the North Carolina waters where the Loggerheads are predominantly found. There should be little or no change to onshore procedures, as many communities already encourage and respect nesting practices. An attorney for the Center for Biological Diversity assured the public that there would not be a ban on fishing, and that this is to protect the environment while finding a correct balance for all creatures.

However, offshore practices may be altered but to what extent is still up in the air. The Environmental Defense Fund expects these changes to be minimal. The goal is to encourage the populations to return to acceptable numbers so they can eventually be removed from the “endangered” species list. The biggest changes to current policies would be to offshore development and fisheries using more “turtle friendly” nets and equipment.




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