Duck’s eye view: Impoundments look great!
On the ground: Residents have a different perspective
GOOSE CREEK ISLAND – From the air, this remote northeast corner of Pamlico County looks like an ideal stopping spot for migratory waterfowl cruising the Atlantic Flyway, especially so in recent years with an unprecedented proliferation of man-made duck impoundments. However, down on the ground, these shallow, flooded feeding grounds – designed to attract various types of waterfowl, which in turn attracts a bevy of upscale, shotgun-toting hunters – have kindled the ire of many island residents.
A contingent of well spoken Goose Creek Island citizens showed up at Monday night’s meeting of the Pamlico County Commission to ask for some type of regulations to govern both the construction and location of these new impoundments.
“We are not opposed to hunting,” said Alexis Ireland. “For most of us, these impoundments are a safety issue. There are no fences, no barriers of any type. There is hunting on both sides of the highway. We are concerned about falling birdshot, unexpected loud noises, and construction of impoundments very close to existing homes.”
Peggy Page, who lives and works in the area, echoed Ireland’s comments.
“It’s not about hunting, it’s about safety,” said Page. “These impoundments are virtually being created overnight. I’ve always thought hunting is for the woods,” she added, “but now, some type of zoning or regulations are needed.”
County Commissioner Paul Delamar III did not hesitate in responding. Though clearly empathetic – “I don’t want one of these things 25 feet from my house” – Delamar quickly nixed any prospect of zoning.
“You want to fill up that courtroom over there?” asked Delamar, pointing in the direction of a large room, occasionally used by the County Commissioners for public hearings on controversial topics. “Just mention the Z-word.”
However, the reasonable entreaties did indeed spur the County Commissioners. Delamar requested “a formal legal opinion” to outline what elected officials at the county level can do to address the residents’ concerns. Jimmy Hicks, a New Bern-based attorney who is paid to advise the board on legal issues, promised to produce such a report for the next meeting of the Commission on Monday, July 6th.
Three letters written by Goose Creek Island residents, which were hand-delivered to the board Monday night.