Outdoor Notes

SAFE BOATING

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, State Highway Patrol and Mothers Against Drunk Driving began the tenth annual “On the Road, On the Water, Don’t Drink and Drive” campaign Memorial weekend. The multi-agency safety initiative works to reduce alcohol-related accidents on the state’s roadways and waterways, both of which see increased traffic during summer holidays.

Over July 3-5 (Operation Dry Water), en­forcement officers will be conducting sobriety checkpoints and promoting public awareness to deter impaired operation of vehicles and vessels. Awareness and enforcement efforts are centered on three of the busiest summer weekends including Labor Day.

The Commission advises anyone who plans to consume alcohol to designate a sober driver instead of getting behind the wheel of a car or a vessel. In North Carolina, a driver or vessel operator with a blood-alcohol concentration that meets or exceeds .08, or is substantially impaired by alcohol and/or drugs, is subject to arrest.

The campaign is coordinated by the Com­mission and the State Highway Patrol, and supported by local police and sheriff’s offices, along with participating non-governmental organizations such as Mothers Against Drunk Driving.

Here’s the tally from WRC for Memorial weekend: boaters contacted 2459; boats checked 728; warnings issued 363; citations issued 285; boaters driving under the influence 27; incidents investigated 10 including one at Jordan Lake.

Joshua Moerhing, a soldier at Fort Bragg, was enjoying his Memorial Day weekend on Jordan Lake when he says he saw a boat run over a man who had fallen into the water.

The N&O reported It was around 7 p.m. Sunday, May 24, when Moehring, 31, another soldier, Erik Hansen, 25, and a former soldier, Anthony Kensev, 26, jumped into action. They got the badly injured man out of the water and cared for him on their boat until they docked at Poplar Point boat ramp in Apex.

The woman driving the pontoon boat the man fell from, Crystal Lynn Oster, 39, of Moore County, was charged with running him over. She also was charged with impaired boating causing death or serious injury, a felony, and operating a boat in a reckless manner, a misdemeanor, according to a magistrate’s order.

PUBLIC HEARING JUNE 23

The Division of Energy, Mineral, and Land Resources (DEMLR) plans to hold a public hearing June 23 on the Wake Stone Corpora­tion, Triangle Quarry application to modify permit number 92-10. Wake Stone applied to expand quarrying operations by developing 106 acres of the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority’s Odd Fellows tract.

The public is invited to participate online or listen by phone, but speakers must sign up in advance. The hearing will be held virtually at 6 p.m. online by Cisco WebEx. The online meeting link is at deq.nc.gov, and on the CSN website. To join by phone: +1 415 655 0003. Meet­ing number (access code): 617 449 551.

If you want to speak at the digital public hearing, you must register, provide the re­quired information and follow instructions on ways to join the public hearing. Registration must be completed by 12 noon June 23, 2020.

Written comments may be submitted to N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, Attn: Judy Wehner 1612 Mail Service Center, Raleigh, N.C., 27699-1612 or by email to ncminingprogram@ncdenr.gov. All comments received will be considered in the final permit decision on this application.

WILDFLOWER MONTH

Wildflowers do more than add beauty to the landscape. They help conserve water, reduce mowing costs, provide habitat for birds, butterflies and other wildlife, protect the soil and save money on fertilizer and pesticides.

Unfortunately, many wildflowers are in danger from invasive plants taking over their growing spaces and from urban expansion taking its toll on how many wildflowers sprout and survive. North Carolina Wildflower Week last month aimed to highlight the beauty of wildflowers, and to encourage citizens to take steps to conserve and protect them.

Families and individuals found many ways to celebrate. Whether it was a hike at a local natural area, donation to support plant conservation or starting a wildflower garden, anyone can support and enjoy wildflowers.

WATCH OUT FOR TICKS

Ticks are an annual summer problem in North Carolina. After every walk in the woods, be sure to check yourself and clothing carefully to remove all ticks. The consequences can be severe.

FISHING/BOATING WEEK

National Fishing and Boating Week is June 6-14, but unlike most years, no special programs for kids and adults are planned in N.C. due to COVID-19.

The annual Governors Cup sailing races at Kerr Lake were canceled.