Posted by & filed under Outer Banks Activity, Outer Banks News.

fireworks

http://www.outerbankschamber.com/events/

Events

July 6, 2014

Soundside Hike

Date: July 6, 2014Time: 10:00 am

Town of Manteo Independence Day Celebration

Date: July 6, 2014Time: 3:00 pm – 9:30 pm

July 7, 2014

Whalehead Club Fireworks

Date: July 7, 2014

Fishing Camp

Date: July 7 – 11, 2014Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm

Black Beard’s Treasure Hunt

Date: July 7, 2014Time: 10:00 am

Soundside Hike

Date: July 7, 2014Time: 10:00 am

Cold Blooded Creatures

Date: July 7, 2014Time: 11:00 am

Dune Critters

Date: July 7, 2014Time: 2:00 pm

Date: July 7, 2014Time: 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm

Sunset on the Ridge

Date: July 7, 2014Time: 7:45 pm

Fireworks at Avon Fishing Pier

Date: July 7, 2014Time: 9:00 pm

Posted by & filed under Outer Banks Activity, Outer Banks News.

Coyotes roam among us, even in beach neighborhoods

By  on June 19, 2014

coyote

A coyote roaming in Nags Head Acres has been caught on camera by a resident two times in recent weeks, reaffirming that these strong swimmers and impressive scavengers now inhabit nearly every town on the Outer Banks from Hatteras to Corolla.

Nags Head Police Chief Kevin Brinkley says the animal photographed definitely appears to be a coyote, and the non-native mammals have been spotted in other areas of town, including South Nags Head.

Buster Nunemaker, who took the photos, says he has seen the coyote in his yard and on the road and adds that he is concerned about the growing population of the animal in coastal counties.

“Coyotes in these counties are now allowed to kill freely and that bothers me,” he said. “Coyotes are not native east of the Mississippi but are found in all 50 states. They need to be eradicated.”

Nunemaker is referring to a temporary injunction implemented in May by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission that prohibits coyote hunting in a five-county Red Wolf Reintroduction area. The area includes Dare, Tyrell, Hyde, Beaufort and Washington counties.

Coyotes can be mistaken for red wolves and several have been shot in recent years. At the same time, they can breed with red wolves and disrupt the population.

Brinkley said coyote sightings in Dare County have been common since 2005, and the town is not aware of any problems created by the animals. They are most often spotted in areas such as Nags Head Woods and nearby neighborhoods. The animals have made their way into all 100 counties in North Carolina.

Nunemaker says the current injunction lacks a balance between managing coyotes and protecting the red wolf population. “It’s all about the red wolf now, but there has to be a balance,” he said.

A public hearing is slated for 7 p.m. today in the Columbia High School auditorium to receive input on the temporary regulations.

According to the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, coyote distribution has sharply increased since the mid-1980s, when sightings were reported in less than 12 counties. Now estimates by hunters and trappers of coyotes indicate a dramatic increase. More than 27,000 coyotes were harvested statewide during the 2012-2013 season, and trappings have increased 26-fold in the last 10 years, the WRC reports.

Chris Turner, WRC wildlife management biologist for the state’s coastal region, says coyotes do a lot of traveling and lack many boundaries. “They live around people very well, so I’m not surprised to hear they are anywhere on the Outer Banks,” he said.

 The best way to manage coyotes, Turner says, is to get rid of food around your home. “Once the food is gone, the critters often leave, too.”

Coyotes, he says, will eat almost anything — from table scraps to pet food left in the yard. “They are very easily habituated to humans through food,” he said.

Coyotes look like mangy dogs and range in weight between 20 and 45 pounds. They have reddish to dark gray thick fur, slender snouts, bushy tails and pointed ears. Coyotes howl for many reasons, none of which are malicious, according to literature provided by the WRC.

These canines are extremely unlikely to attack people. They are naturally curious but cautious and rarely contract rabies. They could possibly attack pets such as outdoor cats and small unleashed dogs, viewing them as prey. If residents see a coyote regularly, steps should be taken to prevent conflicts with it such as securing garbage, keeping pets inside, fenced in or leashed, feeding pets indoors and keeping bird-feeder areas clean.

Other suggestions are to close off crawl spaces, cut back brush edges, clear fallen fruit and educate neighbors in areas where they have been seen.

The temporary injunction, issued in May, was the result of a federal court order that stemmed from a lawsuit alleging that the Wildlife Resources Commission violated the federal Endangered Species Act by permitting hunting of coyotes in counties where red wolf reintroduction was being attempted. According to a press release, the lawsuit attempts to permanently end coyote hunting in the five counties.

Coyote hunting with no bag limits ia permitted in the remaining 95 counties, according to Turner.

Under the injunction, coyotes can be shot in the five counties only in defense of a person’s safety, or if livestock or pets are threatened. If a coyote is shot, it must be reported to the WRC within 24 hours.

“The Commission is deeply concerned about potential impacts to private landowners, hunters and native wildlife resulting from this order,” Jim Cogdell, chairman of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, was quoted in the press release announcing Thursday’s public hearing.

The public comment period continues to June 23. Comments can be emailed toregulations@ncwildlife.org or mailed to N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, 1701 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C. 27699-1701. For more information on Wildlife Commission temporary rulemaking, go tohttp://www.ncwildlife.org/ProposedRegulations.aspx.

Posted by & filed under Outer Banks Activity, Outer Banks History, Outer Banks News.

 on June 8, 2014

solar

Construction of the first solar energy plant in Currituck County has been given the green light by the Board of Commissioners.

The solar farm is planned for about 225 acres along N.C. 34 across from Shawboro Elementary School. It could be online sometime next year and generate enough power for 1,900 homes, according to the company proposing the project.

Ecoplexus, which is based in San Francisco, submitted a plan that calls for about 86,400 300-watt panels attached in rows to metal racks.

Ecoplexus specializes in solar energy and says it has projects worldwide.

The project, which was also endorsed by the Planning Board, is considered a low impact use of the land. Other than a storage shed for parts, nothing else will be built on the property, whose owner lives in Virginia Beach. It is currently active farmland.

In its application for a use permit in Currituck County, Ecoplexus said it is looking at fixed panels or possibly a “single-axis” tracking system, where panels rotate east to west to follow the sun through the day.

A fixed system would need about 110 acres, while the single-axis system would fill almost the entire tract to allow rotating space between the panels. The decision will be based on whether wetlands or unbuildable areas are found on the tract, the company said.

Electricity will be sold to Dominion Power. Inverters on site will convert energy from direct current to alternating current.

A transformer will then boost the wattage to Dominion standards, and electricity will be sent onto the grid at an onsite power pole.

“Once the power from the facility enters the distribution system, it will flow freely to the nearest entity using power at the time,” the application said.

The company said a Federal Aviation Administration study found that the panels produce less glare than asphalt by absorbing energy and diffusing light. Reflections appear hazy compared to regular glass, the company said.

The permit also calls for fencing and buffering.

Posted by & filed under Outer Banks Activity, Outer Banks News.

By  on June 5, 2014

cats

The International Sailing Federation’s A-Class catamaran North American championships are set for next week at Roanoke Island.

More than 60 boats are entered so far. Competitors will gather on Roanoke Island starting Monday and navigate courses in the Croatan Sound through Saturday.

The regatta is being hosted by SailNC.

SailNC, founded in 2013, is a non-profit initiative by the North Carolina Marine Industrial Park Authority, which operates the former Wanchese Seafood Industrial Park.

The championships are the first major event sponsored by the group, which is trying to market the area as a destination for sailing enthusiasts.

Preparations begin Monday, with a practice race on Tuesday. The first race is Wednesday.

Gunboat, a luxury catamaran builder operating out of the Wanchese park, is heavily involved in organizing and promoting the event.

courses