Thursday, January 15, 2015

A First-Timer's Trip to Portsmouth

(from The Ocracoke Current)
PORTSMOUTH ISLAND, N.C. -- Over the past four years that I've lived on Ocracoke, events – some planned, some not – motivated me to explore and learn more about the island, many times through listening to locals tell stories and reading about local history. Other times it’s been done through walking my dogs and observing and listening to my surroundings. South Point and the route to it from ORV Ramp 72 is one of those walks, and if you go all the way, as far as you can go, you’ll see Ocracoke Inlet. Inlets are neat all on their own, but across the Ocracoke Inlet, where the Atlantic Ocean and Pamlico Sound meet, sits Portsmouth Island, once home to a flourishing shipping-turned-fishing village.

Dare County Seeks Permit for Buxton Beach

BUXTON, N.C. -- The National Park Service plans to prepare a draft environmental impact statement as it considers a permit for Dare County to pump sand onto the beach in Buxton. A special use permit is needed before the nourishment project can start. The Park Service says an environmental impact statement will help it decide whether, where and under what conditions a permit would be issued. Severe erosion has exposed N.C. 12 and oceanfront structures to frequent overwash and storm surge. Widening about 2.5 miles of the beach is estimated to cost from $20 million to $27 million, depending how long it is engineered to last.

Tagged Great White Shark Spotted in Outer Banks

NAGS HEAD, N.C. -- Scientists say a great white shark got very close to the Outer Banks this weekend and swam into Pamlico Sound. OCEARCH tags and tracks about two dozen great whites to study their migratory routes. According to satellite data, a female great white named Katherine, swam through the Oregon Inlet sometime Friday. She pinged again near the Pamlico River the next day. Then Saturday night, another ping just off Cape Hatteras.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Photo of PJ Smuckers Wins Happy Fix® Holiday Snapfest

THE PEAK OF GOOD LIVING: APEX, N.C.  -- North Carolina’s happiest startup, Happy Fix® (, is pleased to announce that a photo of a playful puppy named PJ Smuckers garnered the most admires for the company’s “Holiday Happy Fix” Snapfest hosted on SnapYeti, the popular online photo contest marketplace. Jennifer from York, Pennsylvania won a HPY Mug after submitting the shot of her dog playfully lying upside down underneath a Christmas tree.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Happy Fix® Ho-Ho-Hosting Holiday Snapfest Photo Contest

APEX, N.C.  -- North Carolina’s happiest startup, Happy Fix® (, is inviting its growing community of Happbassadors to join the seasonal fun with the company’s “Holiday Happy Fix” Snapfest hosted on SnapYeti, the popular online photo contest marketplace. Participants are invited to share a photo of their favorite holiday-related tradition, event, symbol, or activity that provides a Happy Fix at and compete for the most votes, with the winner being awarded a free HPY Mug after the contest ends December 31. The popular smiling white porcelain mugs of happiness are reminders that individuals have the power to start their days by celebrating what's great in life. The HPY Mug is one of two brand-new Happy Fix products introduced for the holidays, alongside the HPY Holidays Long Sleeve Tee, 100% pre-shrunk heavyweight cotton t-shirts featuring the popular Happy Fix "HPY" logo design all wrapped up in a string of holiday lights set against a snow white background.

Ocracoke's Annual Oyster Roast Coming December 27

OCRACOKE, N.C. -- Christmastime heralds a much anticipated event on Ocracoke -- the annual Oyster Roast at the Ocracoke Seafood Company from 2 to 5 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 27. This year is the ninth year of this fundraiser for the Ocracoke Working Watermen’s Association (OWWA) which operates “the fish house,” as it is called, that supports the activities of about 30 commercial fishermen. “This is a thank-you for the community,” said Patty Plyler, who along with her husband, fisherman Hardy Plyler, works at the Fish House and helps organize the roast. “We’re all about community and how important it is to have fresh, local fish for sale.” Along with all the oysters you can eat, there will be steamed shrimp and fish stew, the latter courtesy of Vince O’Neal, a fisherman who also owns Pony Island Restaurant. For this annual oyster fest, the group sets up two rows of plywood tables on top of saw horses. Then they dump piles of steamed oysters on the tables while patrons, who are asked to bring their own oyster shuckers, stand and shuck away.

Senate Helps Open Up OBX Beach Driving...A Little

(from The Island Free Press)
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- After a week of seemingly endless procedural delays and debate, the U.S. Senate this evening passed the $585 billion National Defense Authorization Act by a vote of  89 to 11. Attached to the bill and also passed is a public lands package of bills, one of which includes some significant changes to the Cape Hatteras National Seashore's Off-Road Vehicle Plan. The House of Representatives easily passed the bill last week on Thursday, Dec. 4. The defense authorization bill, H.R. 3979, now goes to the desk of President Barack Obama, who is expected to quickly sign it. The Cape Hatteras legislation instructs the Secretary of Interior to review and adjust wildlife protection buffers, keep them in place the shortest possible duration, designate vehicle and pedestrian corridors around resource closures, and confer with the state of North Carolina on certain buffers and protections. It also makes other modifications to the final ORV plan, such as conducting a public process to consider such changes as the earlier opening of beaches that are closed at night during the summer, extending seasonal ORV routes in the fall and spring, and modifying the size and location of vehicle-free areas.

Wright Brothers National Memorial Holds Annual Celebration

KITTY HAWK, N.C. -- On Wednesday, December 17, 2014, the First Flight Society and the National Park Service continued the tradition of honoring the accomplishments of Wilbur and Orville Wright at the 111st anniversary celebration of the first heavier-than-air powered flight. The event took place at the Wright Brothers National Memorial Visitor Center and Park entrance fees were waived for the day.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

More NC Coastline Sea Level Rise Warnings on the Way

(from The Charlotte Observer)
NAGS HEAD, N.C. --  North Carolina scientists mapping future sea-level rise will have their last public meeting Monday before the group issues its much-anticipated projections this month to prepare coastal residents for increased flooding and more violent storm surges. The science panel’s report will be the first of its kind in the nation. Rather than providing a single sea-level rise forecast for the state’s entire coastline, the scientists will issue separate projections for four different geographic zones within the state. “I don’t know anyone who’s gone that far,” said Skip Stiles, executive director of Wetlands Watch in Norfolk, Va. “In Virginia, that’s been a big head-scratcher for us.” The segmented projections indicate the North Carolina scientists’ growing sophistication – and caution – in issuing pronouncements related to climate change. Their last prediction – in 2010, that North Carolina’s sea levels could rise 39 inches by century’s end – triggered a firestorm of protest from climate-change skeptics and coastal developers. The scientists’ range was 15.7 to 59.1 inches of sea-level rise by 2100.