Change in Coastal Communities

2008-09, Down East Carteret County, NC.  Explored the effects of development on a coastal region.

Carla and Gabriel collaborated with Lisa Campbell, Rachel Carson Associate Professor of Marine Affairs to adapt the Community Voice process that had proven successful in western NC to land use and amenity migration issues on the NC coast.  Sponsored by the Duke University Marine Lab and funded by North Carolina Sea Grant, this two-year study aimed to document community perceptions of development and land-use change in North Carolina’s historic Down East region and to improve upon a history of contentious public meetings about growth management.  Collaborating researchers included Zoë A. Meletis (University of Northern British Columbia) and Duke graduate students Noëlle Boucquey and Josh Stoll, as well as community partners from Down East.  The project involved a major sample survey, seventy interviews, documentary film production, GIS analysis and mapping prior to three public meetings held in Fall 2009.

Watch the video, Voices of Down East, below:

Voices of Down East from Gabriel Cumming on Vimeo.

 

Project results: since the completion of the public meetings in late 2009, local partners have used the research process and results to leverage $400,000 in grants to support community development initiatives identified through the Community Voice process.  The Core Sound Waterfowl Museum has taken the lead on these efforts, with continuing support from Duke University researchers and students.  What began as a Down East focus has grown into a three-county regional effort known as Saltwater Connections that seeks to sustain resource-based livelihoods and cultural heritage along NC’s central coast, from Hatteras Island to Ocracoke and Down East.

Project website: http://www.ml.duke.edu/coastalcommunities/

Media coverage:

Dukenvironment magazine, fall 2008

Photo credit: Josh Stoll