take action on the 2021 coastal habitat protection plan!

Public comment is open until October 21st. Submit a comment in support of our coastal habitats!

Sailboat along coast

The Coastal Habitat Protection Plan is open for public comment!

Help protect North Carolina’s coastal habitats! The 2021 Amendment to the NC Coastal Habitat Protection Plan (CHPP) is open for public comment through Oct. 21. The CHPP contains new strategies to protect and restore water quality and important habitats like seagrass and wetlands.

Healthy fisheries need healthy habitats
We know we need clean water to survive, but it’s just as important for our coastal fish habitats to have clean water for their productivity and health as well. These habitats not only need clean water, but they need water characteristics that they are adapted to, like proper light clarity and the proper mix of fresh and salt waters.

North Carolina's water quality is declining
Unfortunately, North Carolina’s water quality is in decline, and it’s impacting our habitats. Algae blooms are increasing. Some types of seagrasses, known as submerged aquatic vegetation, are in decline. Fish kills were recently reported in Pamlico Sound. Shellfish closures are increasing in our estuaries. Learn more about the issues facing our estuaries how the CHPP addresses them here.

The North Carolina Coastal Habitat Protection Plan is a comprehensive plan to improve water quality using nature-based solutions and engaging stakeholders

That’s why the North Carolina Coastal Habitat Protection Plan (CHPP) is more important than ever!

The CHPP is a comprehensive state document that evaluates the status and trends of North Carolina’s coastal habitats, and makes recommendations across all state divisions and agencies that impact or are responsible for our coasts. The CHPP is updated by North Carolina every five years, and the next update is just around the corner!

How to submit public comment

You can fill out a survey here (a great way for those familiar with coastal habitat issues to share their expertise!), submit a general comment (click “Yes” in question 5), or share your ideas via email: PublicComments@ncdenr.gov. Please put 'CHPP Comments' in the subject line.

Whichever option you choose, we hope you express support for the 2021 CHPP Amendment to keep momentum going for the many good ideas it contains. If you want to go one step further, please encourage DEQ to follow the advice of a stakeholder workgroup that got together in the spring (details here) to form a public/private partnership to increase stakeholder involvement in CHPP development, implementation, funding, and decision-maker support.