Reporters are invited to Wednesday’s 2017 Albemarle-Pamlico Ecosystem Symposium: Eyes on the Horizon where experts will lead a discussion on issues impacting the rivers and estuaries of the Albemarle-Pamlico region.
North Carolina and Virginia’s Albemarle-Pamlico region has one of the nation’s largest estuaries, which are bodies of water where rivers meet the sea. Protecting this estuarine complex, with its 3,000 square miles of open water, is crucial for regional industries such as forestry, agriculture, commercial and recreational fishing, tourism, mining and energy development.
This year marks the 30th anniversary of the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership’s (APNEP) establishment by Congress as part of the EPA’s National Estuary Program. APNEP is a state and federal program that supports ecosystem-based management of the Albemarle-Pamlico region. Since 1987, APNEP has funded or supported more than 100 applied research initiatives designed to improve our working knowledge of the Albemarle-Pamlico system. Since 2002, APNEP has supported over ninety education and outreach projects in the region.
During the symposium, leaders from North Carolina and Virginia agencies will sign a memorandum of understanding that renews both states’ commitment to enhancing the protection of the region’s ecosystem and community health through interstate collaboration. Michael Regan, secretary of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, D. Reid Wilson, chief deputy secretary for the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, and Virginia’s Deputy Secretary of Natural Resources for the Chesapeake Bay Russ Baxter will sign the memorandum.
The symposium is hosted by the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership along with N.C. Sea Grant, the Water Resources Research Institute of the UNC System, the Virginia Institute of Marine Science, the University of North Carolina Coastal Studies Institute, the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, and the N.C. State University Center for Marine Sciences and Technology.
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