The Sierra Club, founded by John Muir in 1892, is one of the oldest, largest, and most influential grassroots environmental organizations in the United States. We are proud to say that the Croatan Team became an official Group of the North Carolina Chapter of the Sierra Club in March, 2014.
The Croatan Group serves the Carteret, Craven, Jones, Onslow, and Pamlico counties.
THESE ARE THE ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES WE CARE MOST ABOUT:
THE NORTH CAROLINA CHAPTER PRIORITIES……..These are the issues that the NC Chapter has determined to be of greatest concern:
1. The Clean Power Plan….click here
2. No to Offshore Drilling and Seismic Blasting:
3. Yes to Solar Energy (and Wind Energy)
THE CROATAN GROUP PRIORITIES: Go here for a list of our local group’s priorities and explanations. These are the issues that are very important to us, and some are local issues, some are state or regional issues, and some are national or global issues. But all are of concern for those who want our environment to be healthy for all of us, everywhere. There are two concerns that we have determined require our immediate and special concern:
1. Saving Hofmann Forest. We must save this precious resource! Go here for more information. For now we have had some success in protecting this forest, but we must watch carefully for any new plans to develop this area.
2. The Croatan Forest. Monitoring the Actions and Changes by the U.S. Forest Service that are announced for the Croatan National Forest, including plans for a bypass highway through the forest.
Note: We invite all to our “Excom Meetings” (Executive Committee Meetings). At these meetings we conduct some of our business, talk about ongoing programs and upcoming outings and projects, and we would love to meet anyone who is interested in our group and welcome any input from interested people. Please come. Meetings are usually the second Tuesday of the month, at 6:30PM to 8PM, at St. Andrews Episcopal Church in Morehead City. Here is our group chair, Michael Murdoch, preparing his home grown Bogue Sound organic watermelons for the meeting, and some hard work going on scheduling future outings and programs:
Our next Excom meeting will be Tuesday, September 13.
The Sierra Club is active politically, supporting candidates that have shown themselves to be friendly to environmental causes. The Sierra Club is completely non partisan, only supporting the best pro environment candidates regardless of political party affiliation.
This year is especially important for the environment, with many elections between candidates that are pro environment and those who have poor environment records and ideas. Our Croatan Group will be active in supporting candidates we feel are particularly pro environment, and we sponsored a political PAC event to raise money for the candidates that the state chapter feel are viable, important candidates. At our PAC event, Roy Cooper attended and gave a wonderful speech about how he will reverse the anti environmental policies of the current administration in North Carolina. The Sierra Club has endorsed Roy Cooper for governor, and will do all it can to help support his candidacy. We will also support candidates around the state that the state Sierra Club Chapter feels are viable, pro environment candidates. Our PAC fundraiser, supported by our Croatan Group, and the Cypress Group, raised many thousands of dollars for pro environment candidates.
This is the event that we had to support Roy Cooper and other pro environment candidates:
Or click on the following:
Upon the recommendation of our Group, the NC Sierra Club Chapter has also endorsed three local candidates:
Rodney Alexander, candidate for NC House of Representatives, District 13. Go to http://www.alexanderfornchouse.com
Marva Fisher Baldwin, candidate for NC House of Representatives, District 3. Go to http://www.marvafisherbaldwin.com
Roger Eaton, candidate for Carteret County Commissioner. Contact Roger at firstname.lastname@example.org
Upcoming Croatan Group Activities and Events
September 24 – White Oak River Trip, Saturday. More information to come.
October 15 – Croatan Service Outing. Radio Island. Saturday, 8 AM to 12 noon. More information to come.
October 18 – Methane Pollution – A Growing Threat To Our Climate and Public Health. Tuesday, 6 to 8 PM, Ft. Benjamin Recreation Center, Newport, NC.
November 5 – Calico Creek Paddle. Saturday. More information to come.
November 14, Monday – FACING THE SURGE. 6:00 PM to 8:00, at Joslin Hall Auditorium, Carteret Community College, Morehead City, NC. Facing the Surge is a film that documents the tangible costs of sea level rise for the people of Norfolk, VA
The team behind Adaption Now is launching an east coast screening tour in collaboration with Citizens Climate Lobby.
The 2016 coastal film tour will traverse the length of the eastern seaboard, beginning in Maine and ending in Florida. Running from early September to late November, it will feature a combination of community screenings, film festivals, and private screenings with local leaders and organizations.
Facing the Surge documents the tangible costs of sea level rise for the people of Norfolk, VA. Norfolk is home to the largest naval base in the country and to thousands of hard-working Americans struggling to adapt to the rising tides and an uncertain future. The town has registered 16 inches of sea level rise since 1930. But Facing the Surge is not a film about loss and inaction. It tells the stories of citizens from across the United States as they step forward to raise awareness and push their government to pursue real solutions.
This film will be followed by talks from Dr. Stanley Riggs and Gregory Rudolph who both served on the science panel for the North Carolina Coastal Resources Commission. The science panel produced reports assessing the expected sea level rise along the North Carolina coast.
Diogo Freire is the filmmaker and started the Adaptation Now documentary project in 2014 to raise awareness about climate change and garner support for the organizations on the ground working to implement climate solutions. In the process, he also wrote the book When Climate Change Hits Home and has been working in the solar industry to advance the adoption of clean energy. Prior to these endeavors, Diogo worked for the Energy Practice of the Boston Consulting Group. He was born and raised in Portugal, leaving to study at the London School of Economics. He then moved to the U.S. for his MBA at Harvard, and now lives in San Francisco.
Dr. Stanley Riggs is a coastal and marine geologist who has been doing research on modern coastal systems since 1964 and has been on the faculty at East Carolina University since 1967. His research extends from inland river, lake, and pocosin environments, to estuarine and barrier island systems, and seaward across the continental shelf. He has spent considerable effort understanding the risks of sea level rise along the North Carolina coast.
Gregory Rudolph is the Carteret County Shore Protection Officer. Rudi will explain what FIRMs (Flood Insurance Rate Maps) represent and their projection of risk.
Here is the film trailer link: http://www.adaptationnow.com/
December 13 – Sierra Club Annual Holiday Party. Morehead City Train Station. 6 PM to 9 PM.
Recent Croatan Group Activities and Events
August 28 – Mini-Outing to North Croatan National Forest
The Sierra Club will run an afternoon field trip to the north Croatan on Sunday, 28 August, from 2 to 5:30 pm. This trip will focus on savanna plants, especially rare species, although we may see several species of butterflies as well. Most of the plants we’ll see will be different from those we’ve seen on recent south Croatan field trips, because they are ones that are mostly associated with loamy soils, rather than sandy soils. Such “loamy soil species” we’ll look for will include the very rare and decreasing LeConte’s thistle (at its northern limit) and Hooker’s milkwort (also at its northern limit). We will also see native orchids, possibly including the rare and decreasing yellow-fringeless orchid. The power line corridor sites we’ll visit were mowed last winter and burned in the spring; plus, the area has had adequate rainfall this summer. So, floral abundance and diversity should be at its very best. Conditions this good may not occur again until 2019.
The trip will involve driving to multiple areas and some short walks (sometimes through knee-high vegetation) to get to the plant sites. Long pants and close-toed footwear (i.e. no flip-flops etc.) are required. If you have binoculars that focus closely (within about five feet), bring them—they are good for looking at butterflies.
Members of the Croatan Group joined with others for this event. Here is the coverage in the Carteret News-Times:
Posted: Wednesday, July 13, 2016 11:35 am | Updated: 12:32 pm, Wed Jul 13, 2016.
Atlantic Beach — On a cloudy, breezy Monday, Environment North Carolina, Oceana and the Croatan Group of the Sierra Club came to the beach near the Oceanana Pier to share their thoughts on seismic testing and encourage others to join them in opposing the practice. More here: http://www.carolinacoastonline.com/carolina_coast_online/news/coastal_issues/article_73d07c40-490f-11e6-b25e-6fa3b819b50f.html
June 11 Birding Trip into North River Preserve (wetland restoration area)
Sierra Club Croatan Group ran a field trip into the N.C. Coastal Federation’s North River Preserve in “Down East” Carteret County, from 0730 to 1130, Saturday, June 11. Trip focused on bird-watching. We will look especially for singing Dickcissels—a yellow-breasted sparrow-like bird that occurs mainly in the prairie regions of the continent (however, several have been attracted to the vast early-successional habitat in the preserve for the past several summers). We should also see numerous Blue Grosbeaks and Indigo Buntings, and likely some Common Nighthawks, Horned Larks are a possibility. We will also see wildlife other than birds—a Black Bear would be a possibility. The tour will consist mostly of driving (on dirt/gravel roads) with frequent, short stops at various sites
The Sierra Club will have a mini-field trip into the southern Croatan National Forest on Sunday, June 5, from 3pm to 6pm.
We will plan to visit at least two different sites, both of which were recently burned, so they should be at their best for savanna wildflowers. At the first site, Venus flytraps are abundant; they should be in peak flower at the time of our visit. This site is within an area that has an abundance of the mysterious Carolina bays, which we will discuss briefly. We will then make a short drive to another south Croatan area, one that is probably unknown to most of you. It is probably the most attractive area of longleaf pine habitat in the Croatan, and we will plan to walk about a mile through this area. In this area we should see the endangered and endemic pocosin loosestrife. This area includes a tract that is technically not part of the Croatan, but owned by the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. That tract was saved from development by the N.C. Coastal Land Trust about 10 years ago.
Last, if there is time, we may make an additional drive to the only site in Carteret County of the rare, endemic spring-flowering goldenrod (which is limited to a few counties in NC and SC). That site was also burned this spring and the goldenrod should be in peak flower at the time of our visit.
There is no fee for this trip, but participants will be required to sign a waiver. Note that all participants must wear long pants and closed-toed shoes (i.e. no flip-flops or sandals). Because our cars will be close to the sites we’ll visit, we will not postpone the trip because of a threat of rain.
The trip leaders are John Fussell and Wouter Ketel
Venus Flytraps and other Savanna Plants Mini-Outing, Croatan National Forest
The Sierra Club had a mini-field trip into the southern Croatan National Forest on Sunday, May 29, from 2pm to 5pm
May 21 – Saturday. HANDS ACROSS THE SAND. Ft. Macon swimming beach.
The Croatan Group, together with Oceana and IP&L and Green Sanctuary, sponsored this great event, which is in its fifth year now. At exactly noon, we stood in line holding hands on the beach, to demonstrate our desire to tell the world that we want to end the use of fossil fuels and turn to clean, renewable energy like wind and solar. About 65 people joined in, even though the forecast was for a lot of rain, but the weather held off the worst during our event. Penny Hooper and Michael Murdoch led a pep rally just before noon in which we gave ourselves some credit for the temporary ban on offshore drilling, and pledged to keep up the pressure on sonic blasting. After the holding hands, we had a picnic lunch, and had the weather been a little better we would have had a walk along the new Ft. Macon 3.3 mile walking path. It was a great time of fellowship and hopefully an important photo op for the news media, so that our message will reach many.
Saturday, May 7: Sierra Club field trip to Shackleford Banks within Cape Lookout National Seashore.
April 24, Sunday – Mini Field Trip Southern Croatan National Forest
The Croatan Group of the NC Sierra Club presented a mini-field trip into the southern Croatan National Forest on Sunday, April 24, from 2pm to 5pm. The field trip went to a site that was prescribed burned during the summer of 2015. Thus, the site was at its best for many carnivorous plants (Venus flytraps, pitcherplants, bladderworts, sundews, and butterworts) and other specialties. Red-cockaded woodpeckers and Bachman’s sparrows are both possibilities. Although our focus was on a recently burned savanna, the group also checked out some depression ponds where we found some additional plant species, some rare, and many in flower.
April 23: Saturday – Earth Day at the Farmers Market at the Carteret County Courthouse grounds in Beaufort. Our Croatan Group had a display there. 8am til noon. The goal of this market on this Saturday was to raise consciousness about earth stewardship.
April 19: Tues: Shore Stories. Over a hundred people attend a film about the dangers of oil drilling and seismic testing on coastal environments. Panel discussion followed. 6:30 meet and greet. Film 7:00. Discussion until 8:30. Although President Obama has cancelled plans for drilling our coast, there are pressures from industry to reopen the area. We need to be aware of the dangers of oil and gas extraction on our coast.
April 16: Saturday – Earth Day at Ft. Macon. Our Croatan Group had a table at the museum building. Saturday, 9am-3pm.
Feb. 13, Saturday – Mass Moral March in Raleigh. Several members of the Croatan Group marched in support of the environment…particularly protesting Offshore Oil Drilling, fracking, and advocating FOR a strong and just NC Clean Power Plan. IP&L and NAACP sponsored bus transportation from the New Bern/MHC area.
Penny Hooper (email@example.com) led the group, as it discussed the “Trauma to Transcendence Cycle” in these four classes. Over 30 people attended the classes and the final covered dish get together.
more photos of the event here
December 8, Tuesday – Croatan Group annual Potluck Christmas Party. All invited! 6:30 to 8:30 at the Morehead City Train Depot on Arendell St.
We all had a great time, with wonderful food, company, and fun as we celebrated the holiday season and a wonderful year for our growing Croatan group.
Sunday Nov. 29, 2015 at 1:00 pm New Bern -a brisk 5 mile trek through a beautiful deciduous forest.
Saturday Nov. 28, 2015 at 1:00 pm New Bern -a slow-paced, camera friendly 3 mile trek through a beautiful deciduous forest.
Sierra Club field trip with John Fussell to Rachel Carson Reserve on Sunday, November 22nd, from 2 to 5pm.
October 27 – Tuesday – Stanley Riggs Presentation. Another wonderful and informative talk by Dr. Riggs, attended by over a hundred people. Click on Poster below for more information:
October 17, 2015 – Outing to Historic Portsmouth Village. Sierra Club field trip to the historic Portsmouth Village on the Outer Banks, within Cape Lookout National Seashore.
September 12 – Saturday – Our chair, Michael Murdoch, led a service outing (North Topsail Beach Litter Cleanup)
September 13, Sunday –Mini-Outing, Croatan National Forest
The Sierra Club will have a mini-field trip into the southern Croatan National Forest on Sunday, September 13
Sunday, 30 August 2014 – Mini-Outing to North Croatan National Forest
The Sierra Club sponsored a fun and educational afternoon field trip to the north Croatan
June 16, Tuesday – A meeting about Offshore Drilling by Oceana, was held at the Morehead City Train Depot, at 6:00 to 8:00. About 80 people attending
June 13 Birding Trip into North River Preserve (wetland restoration area…Sierra Club Croatan Group field trip into the N.C. Coastal Federation’s North River Preserve in “Down East” Carteret County
May 30 -Saturday – Sierra Club field trip to Shackleford Banks within Cape Lookout National Seashore
May 24 – Sunday – Sierra Club Field Trip to South Croatan…
Here are some photos of Hands Across the Sand at Fort Macon in Carteret County:
May 16 – Hands Across the Sand. A great and fun event! Over a hundred people turned out and held hands on the beach on a beautiful day, telling the world that we want more clean and renewable energy, and less dirty fossil fuels.
April 19 – Sunday – Sierra Club field trip to the south Croatan National Forest.
April 25 – Saturday – Earth Day Event at Fort Macon, Atlantic Beach, NC.
February 26 – Thursday – The Wildlife Around Us, a Croatan Group presentation about nature photography by Sam Bland
February 14 – Moral March In Raleigh.
January 17 – Neusiok Trail Hike.
January 16 – Keep NC Frack Free! , sponsored by the Unitarian Coastal Federaton Green Sanctuary Committee and The Croatan Group, and graciously presented by Karen Bearden and George Matthis from “Frack Free NC”.
December 15 – Holiday Potluck Party. Over 40 people enjoyed food, fellowship, and fun at the Morehead Train Depot on Monday night.
November 10 – Nature Photography Program – Tips For a taking Better Nature Photographs. …..presented by Nathan Bacheler
October 26 – Paddle on Bachelor Creek. 10:00 to about 3:00. Sponsored by our Croatan Group and the Cypress Group. A Kayak trip along Bachelor Creek, near New Bern.
October 1 – Our Croatan Group hosted a hugely successful MEET OUR SIERRA CLUB CANDIDATES
September 21 – Carnivorous Plants Mini Outing
September 21 – Mass Rally and March in NYC
September 20 – Saturday – Hoffman Forest Protest
September 15th – Sea Level Rise Presentation
August 30th – Hurricane Resilience
August 25th – Hofmann Forest Sale Protest
August 24th – Kayaking with the Candidates
July 26th – Annual Picnic
April 24 – The State of the Honey Bee. Presented by Tia Douglas
April 12 – Outing – Red Cockaded Woodpecker Clearing in the Croatan National Park
April 26 – Keystone XL in DC Rally. “Reject and Protect”
May 9 – Shored Up Film at UUA Church
May 17 – Hands Across the Sand. Ft. Macon
Hofmann Forest Presentation: Saving Hofmann Forest.
ExCom Meetings are the second Tuesday of each month starting at 6:30 pm at St Andrews Episcopal Church, 2005 Arendell Street, Morehead City, NC
Everyone is welcome to attend and we’re always happy to see new faces!
The Sierra Club is somewhat unique among environment groups in that, based on its tax status, it can support political candidates that we find are environmentally friendly. The Sierra Club is completely non partisan, endorsing candidates only according to their environmental record.
During 2013 we endorsed several candidates for NC legislature, and supported them with several events in which we met them and gave them a chance to speak about their campaigns. The state Sierra Club chapter helped fund those candidates that we endorsed.
This year, 2016, an important election year, we are planning to help support candidates we feel are very environmentally friendly.
Michael Murdoch – Chair
Paul Getty – Vice Chair
Courtney Mehurg – Secretary
Cindy Weeks – Treasurer
Tancred Miller – NC Chapter Representative
Penny Hooper – Conservation Chair
Michael Schachter and Dale Hocker – Political Co-Chair
Deede Miller – Program Chair
Lucy and Jim Bond – Membership co-chairs
Newsletter – Paul Benson