Nov. 7, 2000 (Greensboro News & Record)—The N.C. Board of Transportation recently voted to approve funding for the installation of river basin highway signs throughout North Carolina.
The Board of Transportation awarded $149,256 in Transportation Enhancement Funds to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources for the manufacturing and installation of highway signs to designate river basin boundaries at major roads and tributaries from Murphy to Manteo.
"The program has been an incredibly successful public awareness effort between two state agencies to educate citizens about their individual impacts on water quality," said Bill Holman, secretary of natural resources. "As evidenced by the outpouring of support for the river basin program from citizens, local government, nonprofits, and businesses across the state, there is a need for greater public environmental awareness."
Signs for the Cape Fear River Basin have been posted for several months, according to Johnsie Hayes, conservation awareness specialist for the Rockingham County Soil and Water Conservation District.
The Roanoke River Basin study is under way, and signs for that basin will be posted later.
Hayes says people are noticing the signs and ask about them. The river basin signs are part of the Office of Environmental Education's Adult Environmental Education Program, called "Discover Your Ecological Address."
The program is designed to increase public awareness and understanding of natural systems and how individuals - at home, school and work - affect those systems.
Anne Taylor, director of the office of environmental education, knows the importance of environmental education. "No matter where you are in North Carolina, you are in one of the state's 17 river basins, and although you can't always see the connection, our daily actions have environmental consequences on not only our quality of life, but on our safety, health and economic well-being as well," she said.
Both departments look forward to partnerships with neighboring states to ensure that the river basin signs are educational for people traveling in the basins that cross North Carolina's boundaries.
© 2000 Greensboro News & Record via Bell&Howell Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved.