OWWA’s presence at the North Carolina Seafood Festival, clinic Cooking with the Chef’s Event just keeps getting better! This year Jason’s Restaurant took the spotlight, Jason is an excellent speaker, and cooked mini flounder sandwiches for what ended up being a standing room only crowd. Jason Wells, his father John Ivey, and Hunter O’Neal talked to the crowd about living on the island, local fishermen, tips on cooking fried flounder and how important locally caught seafood is. Not only does it taste better, it’s fresh, and it supports local economies. It is this message the NC Seafood Festival Cooking with the Chef’s Committee wants to promote and there is no better way than to bring the public face to face with chefs along the coast. The first question asked by a member of the audience was “How can baby flounder be on a menu but be illegal to catch?” Hunter replied “both recreational and commercial fishermen can’t keep anything under 14 inches.” This was reinforced by Nancy Fish, from the NC Division of Marine Fisheries, “If there is mini flounder being sold at a restaurant, it is imported.” This was excellent information and the fact that Hunter, at age 12, quickly provided it made the real impression with the crowd!
Since 2006 OWWA has had an educational space in the Cooking with the Chefs Tent. The pound net model made by Edward Carson O’Neal is always an attraction as well as the videos, books and handouts. This year OWWA made 500 bags (Hayden Austin kept busy labeling with Ocracoke Fresh stickers) which were filled with Ocracoke brochures, flyers, an OWWA newsletter and, if requested, a “Friends Don’t Let Friends Eat Imported Seafood” bumper sticker. Prior to cooking, Jason talked to people about how the pound net works while Hunter introduced adults and children to how crabbers work a crab pot. He had a pair of gloves on hand and gave them to kids to try on and went through the steps of putting bait into the pot, where small crabs can exit, and how to haul the crabs onto the boat.
Village Restrooms : On Wednesday October 12, information pills
2011 OCBA voted to partner with OFI and hire John Williams with PN Projects out of Wilmington, visit this site
NC to provide a report on the best options for addressing Ocracoke’s lack of public restrooms within the village. Mr. Williams is a soil scientist with experience in developing environmentally friendly and innovative wastewater solutions along the coast. His research will detail options, more about
cost to install and long term maintenance costs. Once the initial research is complete a meeting will be called to review and to discuss locations and potential sources of funding. Check www.ocracokefoundation.org/villagerestrooms to follow progress. OCBA, OFI and Saltwater Connections have partnered to provide funds for preliminary research.
Since 2008 OFI has been working with owners of the Community Square on a way to protect and preserve an important part of island heritage. It is the desire of the Senseney Family to sell to OFI provided the property is preserved and must be for “community use” in perpetuity. Meetings will be held this winter to gather input on ways the project can best support the community. The Community Square Project has the potential to bring together key elements like long term waterfront access, open availability for public use and enjoyment, a model for improved environmental practices, a space for community events and a source of dedicated funding.
Community Planning Workshops Continue
Come for a Pot Luck Dinner on November 14, 2011 to meet Saltwater Connections Resource Team interviewers who are on the island specifically to hear from people on topics that are important for the sustainability of our island community. Meetings will be held all day November 14 and 15, including evenings. A review of the workshops held last May and March as well as research compiled by Duke University summer intern Courtney Pickett is planned during the dinner. The Resource Team will be comprised of “experts” from fields identified as needs from earlier workshop discussions: economic development, historic preservation, affordable housing, governance, tourism development, wastewater, conservation, sustainability and recreation. Stay tuned for Community Planning Workshop emails and posters. The workshops are part of a regional initiative through Saltwater Connections. The Saltwater Connections project has been funded by the NC Rural Economic Development Center to develop a regional, sustainable economic development plan. Resource Team visits have been completed in all villages of Hatteras Island and are planned for Down East Carteret County in January 2012. To learn more visit www.saltwaterconnections.org
OWWA and OFI are very happy to report that a permit to restore Hyde County Oyster Bed #78 has finally been received! According to Gene Ballance, this particular bed was preferred because it has remained stable since it was first mapped by Francis Winslow in 1886. The permit covers an area just over one acre. Ocracoke watermen will be meeting to begin making plans for storing and placing shell.
Data on the island’s existing housing situation is complete. The primary focus this past summer was recording four areas of housing: year-round rental, year-round owner occupied, vacation cottage and vacation home. Information was then recorded by Brian Pompeii and converted to a digital map using GIS technology. Having real data in hand will allow us to present our concerns statistically in hopes of acquiring assistance towards achieving a solution. A meeting is scheduled for Thursday November 3rd to review maps, discuss concerns and possible avenues for action. Visit www.ocracokefoundations.org/affordablehousing for a copy of the housing map.
Late last spring a movement to obtain organic, locally grown vegetables on the island was initiated. Since that time a CSA (a term for a farmer who organizes, delivers and sells weekly shares of fresh seasonal produce) Nicole Spruill of Coastal Farmers has been delivering locally grown every Wednesday. To learn more email firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks goes out to Kevin and Laura Hardy for doing the research and work it took to initiate this movement! Funding was received from the Saltwater Connections Project through the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center.
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