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NOAA Ensures Support for Local Industry While Protecting Wetlands & Habitat
NOAA Fisheries worked with regulatory and natural resource agencies when Potash Corporation of Saskatchewan, Inc. (PCS) proposed the major expansion of a phosphate mine in North Carolina that would have resulted in the largest single source of wetland loss and alteration in the southeastern United States in several decades.
PCS proposed using more than 15,000 acres adjacent to current mine operations north of Aurora in Beaufort County over a period of 30 to 40 years. The proposed area included almost 5,000 acres of waters and wetlands adjacent to the Pamlico River, South Creek, and Durham Creek.
As a result of NOAA’s efforts, the mine expansion will avoid primary fish nursery areas designated as Habitat Areas of Particular Concern, and pristine bottomland hardwood forests. The project also includes a multimillion dollar monitoring program, the restoration of 8000 acres of wetlands and the preservation of almost 2,500 acres more.
The PCS phosphate mine is the largest employer in Beaufort County, making it important for NOAA to support operational needs while minimizing adverse impacts to essential fish habitat.