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Hi, and welcome to my "Editor's Blog"! In this space I'll be attempting to keep our readers informed on fast-breaking news and issues affecting our islands. Visit often. There's a lot going on!

Enjoy the Island Free Press and, even more importantly, enjoy our wonderful barrier island!!!

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Salvo Jimmy (The Long And Tort…): I can see the point of the Mirlo owners, BUT, some of us who knew the topography and history of the …
Bud (The Long And Tort…): As a Rodanthe resident, I can assure you that the S-turns is still a hot spot for surfing. It is even…
Dave (Update on the Con…): An observation. Any effort is appreciated. A sidecaster dredge like the Merritt will provide littl…
diver531 (The Long And Tort…): Ok … I gotta say this …just because those people don’t live there doesn’t make them any different fro…
JimM (The Long And Tort…): Ask any sufer if the S-Turns is a hot spot to surf anymore. The answer is no because there is now a b…
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Starry Nights is Returning to Hatteras Village – Here’s Why you Should Go

Friday 17 February 2017 at 5:53 pm

By JOY CRIST

 The Starry Nights event is returning to Hatteras Village for a full February weekend, and if you didn’t have a chance to go to last year’s event, you are in for a treat.

The two-day star gazing session which is presented by the Hatteras Civic Association and orchestrated by the UNC Morehead Planetarium and Science Center in Chapel Hill – the largest planetarium in the state – is not just for the astronomically inclined.

Instead, it’s for anyone who appreciates a clear night, a star-filled sky, and pausing for a few minutes to look up and enjoy a natural show on full display. And on Hatteras Island, that encompasses pretty much all of us.

So if you haven’t made plans for February 24-25 yet, and are looking for a new wintertime adventure, here are a few reasons why a weekend of stargazing may be right up your alley.

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Low Risk isn’t No Risk, and Other Things you Need to Know about the Preliminary Flood Maps

Friday 03 February 2017 at 5:04 pm

By JOY CRIST

We’re at least a year away from the new flood maps being implemented, but the preliminary maps which came out in June of 2016 is a topic that has certainly garnered attention in the past couple of weeks.

Heavily attended public meetings were held on January 11, 12, and 13 – including one in Buxton that attracted 50 people - and on January 17th, a presentation at the Board of Commissioners’ (BOC) Meeting by Dare County Planning Manager Donna Creef led to six recommended actions being approved.

So what’s happening with the new flood maps, and how are homeowners going to be affected?

Essentially, the good news is that many homeowners on Hatteras Island are being moved to a less-risky flood zone designation, which could entail a lower base flood elevation, or a lower risk zone altogether. Theoretically, this could lead to lower flood insurance rates for homeowners all across the island.

The bad news, as Creef said at the presentation, is that “Low risk isn’t no risk.” Any resident who is still cleaning up after Matthew, (and there are lots of us), obviously knows that just because a zone on the map has been changed, it doesn’t mean that Mother Nature will refer to the new maps and follow suit. And there’s a concern growing that once flood insurance isn’t required, homeowners may opt out altogether, putting their properties at high risk in the process.

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Reflections on Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge

Friday 20 January 2017 at 6:21 pm

Pea Island National Wildlife Refuge officials put out a news release last week that noted if you are visiting -- or even driving through the area on northern Hatteras Island -- you might notice some visible changes in the landscape.

And, no, they are not talking about all the construction on two bridges -- the Bonner Bridge replacement, which will land on the north end of the refuge, or the temporary bridge over Pea Island Inlet, which is located just south of the Visitor Center about in the center of the refuge.

The news releases informs us that managers have scheduled routine mowing for the dikes around the three impoundments.

If you are not familiar with Pea Island, I'll give you some information -- though many folks have driven right through it, thinking they are on the Cape Hatteras National Seashore.

The refuge is about 13 miles long and surrounded to the north and the south by the national seashore. It is comprised of 5,834 acres and 27,000 acres of designated boundary waters.

Pea Island is located on the Atlantic Flyway and, according to its website, provides nesting, resting, and wintering habitat for upwards of 365 species of greater snow geese and other migratory waterfowl, shorebirds, wading birds, raptors, and neotropical migrants.

It's come to be known as a "birder's paradise" and veteran and beginning birdwatchers walks its trails, especially in the fall and winter, to see what they can add to their "life list."

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