2014 Mecklenburg County State of the Environment Report

At our August meeting we had a great presentation about the Sustain Charlotte 2014 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Sustainability Report Card – “What would your parents say if you brought home this report card?”

Our September meeting on Wednesday the 24th will feature Heidi Pruess, Environmental Policy Administrator for Mecklenburg County’s Land Use and Environmental Services Agency, as she provides an Update on the Mecklenburg County Livability Plan (Click link for meeting information).

If you haven’t had a chance to review the 2014 Mecklenburg County State of the Environment Report, I highly recommend that you do so before the meeting. You can also click the link – Listen – to hear a discussion of the report from a WFAE Charlotte Talks show.

See you on the 24th for our monthly meeting!

 

WFAE Charlotte Talks: “Mecklenburg County Environmental Report Card” (from March 25, 2014)

Every two years Mecklenburg County does an environmental assessment and delivers an environmental report card of sorts. The report card for the last two years has just been released and we’ll meet with two officials to see how our region fared in Air, Land, Water and Waste use and efficiency. In most aspects the county has fared well but the recession did have an impact in some areas. We’ll find out which ones, what aspects of our environment passed with flying colors and what has room for improvement. We check the county’s environmental grade.

Guests
Heidi Pruess
– Community Plan and Sustainability Officer for Mecklenburg County
Jeff Michael – Director, UNC Charlotte Urban Institute

2014 Mecklenburg County State of the Environment Report

The State of the Environment Report (SOER) has been used as an informative tool for understanding the current environmental state of our region while identifying strategies and recommendations to maintain and enhance our quality of life by ensuring clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and healthy land on which to live and recreate.

This 2014 SOER expands on the traditional identification of priority environmental indicators in Mecklenburg County by providing a trend analysis for each environmental indicator during recent history. Each SOER chapter button below provides a list of recommended actions for addressing these priority environmental indicators as well as informative and fun videos.

Visit Air Quality's Chapter Page Visit Land's Chapter Page
Visit Water's Chapter Page Visit Waste's Chapter Page

Environmental Indicators
Environmental Indicators can be found through the chapter buttons above or via the table below. This website will be updated as either the indicator trend changes or as new information becomes available.

Environmental Indicators Key

 Air indicator
Overall Air Quality
indicator
Ozone
indicator
Particulate Matter
indicator
NOx, SO2, CO, Lead
 Land indicator
Climate Change and Wildlife
indicator
Nature Preserves
indicator
Greenways
indicator
Facility Planning
 Waste indicator
Commercial Waste
indicator
Yard Waste
indicator
Residential Waste
indicator
Household Hazardous Waste 
 Water indicator
Groundwater
indicator
Lakes
indicator
Public Involvement 
indicator

If you are interested in exploring trends back to 1987, you are encouraged to read the 2008 SOER. If you are interested in learning more about how Mecklenburg County’s State of the Environment reflects on our region, you are encouraged to read the 2010 SOER or the 2012 SOER.

Mecklenburg County is fortunate to have County staff with both the technical expertise and practical knowledge to produce the information contained in this 2014 edition of the State of the Environment Report. Please join me in thanking them for their determination and skill in producing this exceptional report!

Additional information at http://charmeck.org/mecklenburg/county/LUESA/SOER/Pages/default.aspx.

 

 

What would your parents say if you brought home this report card?

2014 Report Card Summary

Thanks to Meg Fencil, Education and Outreach Program Director for Sustain Charlotte, for a great presentation at our August Monthly Meeting!

Click below for a link to the Executive Summary of the report. You really should read the entire report which is available at 2014 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Sustainability Report Card.

The August 21st edition of WFAE Charlotte Talks focused on the report. You can listen to the show using the link below.

2014 Sustain Report Exec SummarySustain Charlotte 2014 Sustainability Report Executive Summary

Note: The national comparison grade for any given metric was based on the percent difference between the values from the most recent year for which both national and local data were available, not the percent difference between multi-year averages for national and local. We had considered calculating it by both of these methods, but ultimately decided on the “snapshot” comparison of the most recent year. This calculation method has the advantage of highlighting the most up to date progress (or lack thereof). The downside is that because it’s based on comparison of only two data points, an anomalous year could drive the national comparison grade. For example, if Charlotte has a year with unusually low ozone concentrations due to a rainy and cloudy summer, we could receive a favorable national comparison grade that doesn’t reflect the true baseline situation. As we consider how to revise the methodology for future reports, we’ll take these concerns into account to paint as clear a picture as possible of both our absolute ranking and trend over time for the metrics.

Want to hear a discussion of the report?

Charlotte’s Sustainability Report Card by WFAE

We’ve talked a lot about sustainability – the state and quality of Charlotte’s air, water, energy use and more – and whether or not Charlotte is headed for a sustainable future. But now, the non-profit Sustain Charlotte has used the power of data to compile and compare nine different categories into one study, the first of its kind. The group rates our local sustainability trends, and compares them to national trends in air quality, energy use, equality and empowerment, food, jobs and income, land use, transportation, waste and water use. So, how are we doing? The report shows we’re making progress on energy use, and the area’s water use per household is lower than the national average. But we’re lagging behind when it comes to transportation and land use. And food insecurity and childhood poverty are on the rise.

Guests

Shannon Binns – Founder and Executive Director, Sustain Charlotte

Dena Diorio – Mecklenburg County Manager

John Autry - Charlotte City Councilman and Chairman of the council’s Environment Committee

Listen to the full broadcast here.

P.S. For a top line review, check out 15 takeaways from Sustain Charlotte’s Sustainability Report Card by Ana McKenzie of Creative Loafing.

Happy 70th, 50th, 40th, 30th Birthday Party

At our August monthly meeting last night we had a Happy 70th, 50th, 40th, 30th Birthday Party! What you ask is a 70th, 50th, 40th, 30th Birthday Party?

70 50 40 30

This is a special year for NC and Charlotte outdoors!

Smokey 70th

This is the 70th anniversary of the Smokey Bear Wildfire campaign – Happy 70th Birthday Smokey Bear! 

Wilderness 50

The 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act – 50 Years of Wilderness

40th anniv logo_485

The 40th anniversary of Char-Meck Park & Rec – Happy 40th Birthday Mecklenburg Park and Rec!

NC Wilderness Celebration

And the 30th anniversary of the NC Wilderness Act – 30 Years of NC Wilderness

 

Here is Mary Lou Buck doing the birthday honors!

Mary Lou 70 50 40 30

And don’t forget that the celebration continues! You need to Celebrate Your Wild Side and Sign Up Today for Our Wild NC Celebration – September 26-27 at Morrow Mountain State Park. It’s going to be a wild time with folks from across the state.

Reminder – Monthly Meeting Tonight, Aug 27 at 6:30pm, “Char-Meck Sustainability Report”

Sustain Charlotte 2014 Report Card

Please join us on August 27 for a presentation of Sustain Charlotte’s just released 2014 Charlotte-Meck Sustainability Report Card. Over a year in the making, this Report Card reviews the status of nine major categories relevant to our overall sustainability, including comparisons with national trends, and with suggestions as how we can improve. Overall compared with national trends Charlotte-Meck gets a “C”. Given that the Charlotte City Council has chosen to have ” … be a global leader in sustainability …” as one of its’ focus goals, this letter grade is disappointing.

Sustain Charlotte will be represented by Meg Fencil who will conduct the presentation and discussion.

As usual, pizza will be served around 6:30pm. We will have a short business meeting at 7pm. And the formal presentation will begin around 7:15pm.

We meet at the Mahlon Adams Pavilion in Freedom Park, 2435 Cumberland Ave., Charlotte, NC. Plenty of free parking is available.

See you there for this timely presentation.

David Robinson
Chair, Central Piedmont Group Sierra Club

Why wilderness?

Just two and a half weeks until the official 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. Join us for a celebration this month – Aug 27 – Join us for a 70th, 50th, 40th, 30th Anniversary Party! – and next month too – Save the Date! Sierra Club Wilderness Celebration, Sept 26-28.

September 3, 1964

Sierra Club Wilderness Celebration
Morrow Mountain State Park
Sept 26-28
We are planning a fun weekend full of outings, camping, picnics, presentations and more!
Save the Date! Sierra Club Wilderness Celebration, Sept 26-28

Sierra Club NC Chapter Wilderness Celebration website
Our Wild NC

Central Piedmont Group (Charlotte) Area Resources
Birkhead Wilderness – Uwharrie National Forest – Morrow Mountain State Park

Central Piedmont Group (Charlotte) 50th Wilderness Act
50 Years of Wilderness

Central Piedmont Group (Charlotte) North Carolina 30th Wilderness Act
30 Years of NC Wilderness

Celebrate wilderness
Aug 27 – Join us for a 70th, 50th, 40th, 30th Anniversary Party!
Host a house party and protect America’s special places!

Bonus
Happy 70th Birthday Smokey Bear! and Happy 40th Birthday Mecklenburg Park and Rec!

Aug 27 – Join us for a 70th, 50th, 40th, 30th Anniversary Party!

This is a special year for NC and Charlotte outdoors!

Smokey 70th

This is the 70th anniversary of the Smokey Bear Wildfire campaignHappy 70th Birthday Smokey Bear! 

Wilderness 50

The 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act50 Years of Wilderness

40th anniv logo_485

The 40th anniversary of Char-Meck Park & RecHappy 40th Birthday Mecklenburg Park and Rec!

NC Wilderness Celebration

And the 30th anniversary of the NC Wilderness Act30 Years of NC Wilderness

Wow! Join us Wednesday, August 27th at 6:30 PM for a celebration with pizza and cake. The celebration will take place prior to our regular monthly meeting at the Mahlon Adams Pavilion in Freedom Park, 2435 Cumberland Ave., Charlotte, NC. Free parking is available.

July 23rd Monthly Meeting: Outdoor Treasures of Mecklenburg County

Outdoor Treasures

Please join us on Wednesday July 23rd for a presentation on the Outdoor Treasures of Mecklenburg County.

Stephen Hutchinson, Nature Center Manager at Latta Plantation, will present on the abundant resources of Mecklenburg Parks and Recreation Department. You will be delighted to learn about such great opportunities as kayak tours, canoe rentals, horseback riding, tractor drawn hay rides, cowboy style campfire dinners, Segway adventure tours, GPS treasure hunts, hiking, camping, and more – all nearby.

As usual our meeting is at the Mahlon Adams Pavilion in Freedom Park. It begins at 6:30pm with free pizza, followed by a short business meeting, and then the formal presentation.

Parking is free. All are welcome. We look forward to seeing you.