Conservation voters celebrate environmental wins, look forward

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By Alexandra Golder

Contributing Writer

The North Carolina League of Conservation Voters (NCLCV) held a coastal reception at the Blockade Runner Beach Resort on Tuesday evening, providing an opportunity to gather in Wrightsville Beach to celebrate environmental wins and network with fellow conservationists.

Keynote speaker U.S. Rep. David Price, D-N.C. District 4, said he feels a special obligation to confront the environmental challenges in North Carolina.

“The advocacy to ban offshore drilling was expansive and impressive,” Price said. “We now have to better align our nation’s long-term goals with our advocacy.”

Price advocated for more concern to be turned toward agriculture, specifically hog farms. He spoke of advocating for environmentally sound and feasible replacements for the waste-management systems at these farms.

Price said reducing the threat swine waste poses requires removing lagoons, lake-like areas where waste is currently being stored.

“Removing lagoons removes the jeopardy waste places when water levels rise, especially during a hurricane,” Price said.

Price referenced the lagoon breaches and damages seen after Hurricanes Fran and Floyd, which took place in 1996 and 1999, respectively, to emphasize his point.

“It’s not just the farmers that are affected by these damages,” Price said. “The environmental damage is widespread.”

Price stated he wanted to attend the event because of his recent involvement in issues pertaining to the coast. He acknowledged that along with offshore drilling and seismic testing, there is a long list of issues that North Carolinians need to focus on.

“He is the quintessential champion of dozens of environmental impact bills at both the state and federal level,” said Katie Todd, communications director of the NCLCV, when quizzed why the league asked Price to join the event.

Price is credited with helping secure grants for stream restoration and wastewater processing in North Carolina communities.

Mac Montgomery of Kure Beach, vice president of the NCLCV, said, “Water is a non-partisan issue that all of eastern North Carolina cares about.”

Price represents parts of Alamance, Orange, Durham, Wake, Harnett, Chatham and Cumberland counties. He earned a perfect 100 on the NCLCV 2015 Legislative Scorecard.

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