Town of Duck Planning Board Goes to the Coastal Studies Institute

On May 24th, Town of Duck Planning Board members attended a workshop hosted at the Coastal Studies Institute in Wanchese, NC.

The first session highlighted how faculty and students from state universities have worked with local communities to conduct research, engage in planning efforts, and design solutions for communities.  Drs. Linda D’Anna and Lindsay Dubbs with UNC-Chapel Hill and the Coastal Studies Institute presented information about a three-year undergraduate student research project on septic system wastewater interactions with surface and ground water and the resulting impacts on water quality and quantity in Nags Head, NC.  CSI Professor Robert McClendon presented information on the N.C. State College of Design Coastal Dynamics Design Lab, which recently completed designs for the downtown and waterfront in Elizabeth City, NC.  Attendees learned how to collaborate with students and universities to accomplish tasks that support their planning efforts while providing educational benefits to students in the process.

The second session provided information about how community colleges work with surrounding communities and industries to address local industrial needs and economic development plans and policies.  Dean Timothy Sweeney with the College of the Albemarle (COA) Dare showed how internships, apprenticeships, and other training programs are developed to support a variety of local industries.  He highlighted how the COA welding program supports the N.C. Ferry Division and hospitality program supports the tourism industry on the Outer Banks.  Attendees gained a better understanding of how to work with community colleges and technical schools to support the needs of local industries and implement the goals and policies of their economic development plans.

The day’s final session focused on green stormwater infrastructure (GSI) and its beneficial impact on streams and wetlands.  Dr. Michael O’Driscoll with East Carolina University presented specific examples of GSI around the ECU campus in Greenville, NC.  The session closed with a field tour of the Coastal Studies Institute (CSI) campus highlighting examples of GSI that limit the environmental impact of the campus on adjoining wetlands and the Croatan Sound.

**The first photo shows Planning Board Chairman Joe Blakaitis, Member Sandy Whitman, and Member James Cofield in the front row; Community Development Director Joe Heard and Member Tim McKeithan in the back row.  The second photo shows many of the workshop attendees exploring the rooftop stormwater collection system at the CSI.  The third photo shows a site tour of stormwater management features helping to filter stormwater before releasing it into the surrounding wetlands.