Voicing Our Values: Four New Bern Poets on Nature and the Environment.

On April 5, 2018  at Mount Calvary Church in New Bern the Carolina Nature Coalition presented a program of film and poetry focused on cherishing and protecting the environment with the showing of the film Straws and  a poetry reading entitled Voicing Our Values: Four New Bern Poets on Nature and the Environment. One of the poets asked to read, Suzannah Cockerille, could not be present but is represented here. Below are five poems, one from each poet. The poems are very different from each other, but all show an attachment to nature and a respect for its power and mystery. We hope you enjoy the poems.

The Downstream Loop

Sam Love

Sparkling in the sunlight

the little plastic bag sails

from the mindless driver’s hand

to drift among roadside weeds

No one bothers to retrieve it

and on county mowing day

whirring blades cut a grass swath

shredding the bag into gossamer slivers

The next thunderstruck downpour

carries the shreds through the watershed

to the larger boiling stream

to the tidal marsh

to the Atlantic ocean

The ocean’s sun and waves

pulverize the slivers into tiny bits

creating a perfect culinary delicacy

for large schools of filter feeders

Small fish that mistake micro plastic globules

for aquatic eggs and plankton

Larger fish like Sea Trout and Tuna

cut a swath through the schools

devouring the tiny fish, concentrating

the petrochemicals up the food chain

For dinner we purchase the wild-caught Tuna,

let the fish monger filet the toxin-laden flesh,

pack it in ice, and store it in a virgin plastic bag

A bag that completes this obscene ecological cycle

Note: This poem first appeared in Duke University’s Eno Magazine and provided the inspiration for my award winning illustrated children’s book, My Little Plastic Bag, available locally at stores in New Bern and online at Amazon.

New Bern Poets. Voicing our Values: Poems on Nature and the Environment

Three-Birds Orchid

Robert Golden

Three-birds orchid, creature of my book:

Pink petals shelter white lip

With rimpled margin, purple-green crest—–

Voluptuous lip with its shadow,

Petalled guardians always at hand.

Flower of fragile stem, lover of solitude,

False flight in swinging form,

Death eluder in dark earth,

Years later you rise

In wet spring, green and avid.

The Field Guide’s photo brightly holds you,

Focus sharp, background blurred and dark,

The place “rich woods, swamp edges, flood plains.”

Somewhere away, perhaps not far,

Your birds slowly fly, wind-swayed, graceful.

 

Quotation from The Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Flowers. This poem first appeared in California State Poetry Quarterly.

New Bern Poets. Voicing our Values: Poems on Nature and the Environment

Autumn

Rebecca Duncan

Summer retreats

Days, shadows shorten

Suddenly shy, the sun

Slips behind clouds

Proliferate in the advancing

Autumn skies

 

Abbreviated afternoons produce

Pools of light, scant and fleeting

Trees cast off

Leaves indiscriminately

Leaving their skeletal remains

 

Birds take leave

Rabbits go to ground

Insects seek shelter

Silence settles

 

Green plant stalks swoon

Bend towards cold earth

Lose their lives overnight

Shrivel to brown

 

Pumpkins appear on porches

Dried corn stocks lean on

Bales of hay scattered in yards

Nature’s necessary shedding

Begins

New Bern Poets. Voicing our Values: Poems on Nature and the Environment

To the bone

Suzannah Cockerille

It was in ’76 when he drove his motorcycle,

laden with weathered duffel bags, rolled-up blankets

and a handmade guitar case strapped to the sissy bar,

displaying behind him lacquered scenes

of curvy women, the Blue Ridge Mountains

and two little girls wearing fur coats on a sunny day.

 

The gilded wooden guitar case, with its necessary shape,

looked like a sort of joyful coffin riding on its head

for the sixteen hundred cold, wet miles

from Colorado to Virginia.

He wore thermal underwear and worn-out Levi’s

and a surplus store fatigue coat over a jacket.

 

He was damp upon damp and had shivered for days

when he arrived early one morning,

resigned, relieved, tired.

The two little girls stretched open his clothes and blankets

on the morning grass, the red clay earth,

like offerings under the warm Virginia sun.

 

It was true, the sun had shone the morning he left Colorado,

as if to promise and plead, as if to tell a different story this time.

But he never trusted the sky over the Rockies—it was aloof

and its mood seemed to belittle him, to taunt his eastern ways,

his rumbling voice and slow accent,

his longing for a warmer place.

 

He’d grown tired of moody distance, of cold skies and chance

when he strapped every belonging he had to that motorcycle

and set out for home, for what he’d left behind,

for the mountains he loved, for the little girls, the blood red soil—

cold to the bone, determined

not to break another promise this time.

 

This poem first appeared in Ekphrasis 2016.

SELC Offshore Drilling Interactive Map Launch

As the public comment period for the draft offshore drilling plan comes to a close on March 9th and the BOEM public listening sessions wrap up, we wanted to share some new content and some sample social media posts in case it’s helpful for driving last minute comments.
 
SELC created a short animation to show how the infrastructure associated with offshore drilling would impact our tourism economies. You can share via Facebook or Twitter (#protectourcoast).
 
Sample social language:
·         Offshore drilling drives away tourism dollars. Only a few more days left to let officials know you don’t want to trade resorts for refineries. Submit your public comment by this Friday.
SELC has also launched an interactive new tool that explores the impacts of the proposed drilling plan for the Mid- and South Atlantic through scrolling story maps, showing what’s at stake for communities, key resources, economies, and quality of life along our coast, and how these factors overlap and interplay.
At the end of the scrolling story maps is an interactive map that includes all the data sets to allow users to explore specific data, areas and issues, and print their own maps. For example, if you wanted to share a map with a coastal legislator interested in community opposition and military impacts in your particular state, you can customize the layers and zoom in to highlight those datasets and print a copy.
Sample social language:
·         Want to better understand the many factors and coastal impacts at stake as federal officials consider opening the Atlantic to offshore drilling? This new map puts it all in one place.
·         From coastal opposition and habitat concerns to the impacts of drilling infrastructure, this map includes many of the reasons to protect our coast from offshore drilling. Check it out and submit your public comment by Friday.
·         Use this interactive map to explore the economic and environmental risks of offshore drilling by clicking the boxes to display different information, zoom in to explore specific areas, and print your own map.
·         Hashtag: #protectourcoast

Litter Problem in Carteret County

Environmentalist works to clean up Crystal Coast

CARTERET COUNTY, N.C. (WNCT) — Bags of trash and dozens of plastic bags line the road of one shopping center in Morehead City. Michael Murdoch said he’s trying to do something to change that.

Murdoch said the litter problem in Carteret County has gotten out of control.

“If we don’t do anything about it,” said Murdoch, “we’re gonna be eating our trash essentially by eating the seafood that we have. We’re gonna lose tourism dollars. We’re gonna lose quality of life.”

He said part of the problem is that the littering laws that are in place aren’t being advertised and enforced.

“We have zero anti littering signs up,” said Murdoch. “I haven’t seen one in Carteret County yet.”

Other local environmentalists, like Crystal Coast Waterkeeper Larry Baldwin, agree.

“The litter that we see along the streets and in the yards,” said Baldwin, “has a much bigger impact than we think it does. It’s probably in my opinion one of the biggest contributing polluting factors to all of our waters.”

Murdoch said that beyond the environmental impact, if nothing is done the trash will start to impact tourism.

“We’re competing against Myrtle Beach,” said Murdoch. “We’re competing against a number of other coastal communities. If we don’t have a crystal clear coast, we’re not going to be able to compete.”

He has already spoken to county officials and says he plans to keep fighting to keep Carteret County clean.

Generate your own renewable energy

Energy selling options

Sell your own renewable energy

You may be eligible to sell us electricity at our standard or negotiated rates and conditions if you own qualifying generation such as wind, solar, or hydroelectric that is interconnected directly to the Duke Energy electric grid. Unless otherwise negotiated, under these options for the purchase of qualifying energy, you as the generator owner would maintain all Renewable Energy Credits associated with the output.

All generators that intend to sell energy to Duke Energy are fully responsible for adhering to all utility requirements, applicable federal rules and regulations, state and local ordinances and regulations adopted by the North Carolina Utilities Commission (the governing bodies of regulated utilities in North Carolina). This website does not establish a legal or binding arrangement; it is intended solely to provide access to general information about potential options that may be available through Duke Energy. Generators are responsible for consulting with appropriate legal and energy professionals in determining if generation ownership is the right choice and for assistance in navigating applicable requirements and procedures.

Read more: Sell All / Purchased Power

Offset your bill with renewable energy

Net metering is a special metering and billing agreement between utilities and their customers that facilitates the connection of small, renewable energy-generating systems to the power grid. Our net metering program encourages small-scale renewable energy systems, ensures that customers always have a reliable source of energy from the grid during times when their renewable generators are not producing energy, and provides substantial benefits to the electric power-generating system, the economy and the environment.

When a customer chooses net metering, we replace the meter at the customer’s home with a bidirectional meter that measures two-way flow of electricity. Net metering customers are charged only for the “net” power that they consume from the electricity service provider that has accumulated over a designated period or, if their renewable energy-generating systems make more electricity than is consumed, they may be credited or paid for the excess electricity contributed to the grid over that same period.

It has been shown that customers with net metering systems tend to be much more aware of their energy consumption, so they usually consume less energy than the average retail customer. Net metering is also a way to increase the energy in the power grid to keep up with increases in demand during peak power-use times.

Read more: Net Metering

How to choose between offsetting my bill and selling my power

There are several factors to consider when determining which rate schedule and net metering arrangement is best for you. Your generator’s output, like your electrical consumption, will likely vary throughout the year. If your generated output is consistently greater than your consumption, a “sell-all” arrangement may be more viable than a net-metering option. While net metering should lessen your bill, it will not eliminate it entirely. It is advisable to look into the ways and times that you are using electricity and compare this to your generator’s output. This effort may also help you find additional ways to conserve energy.

Parallel generation

Parallel generation refers to the generation of power directly by consumers – institutions like hospitals, manufacturers or other large organizations – instead of purchasing it from an electric utility. Under our parallel generation program, Duke Energy will provide service to the customer’s net load (total load less customer generation), provide standby service to serve the customer’s total load when the generation is not able to operate, and purchase any excess energy from the customer when the customer’s generation output exceeds the customer’s load.

Finding an Installer

While we don’t endorse specific products or companies for your generation project, we can recommend the following online resources to find providers who can help you start generating renewable energy.

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s PV Watts calculator estimates costs of photovoltaic systems by location.

Interconnection Overview

Interconnection is the process of obtaining permission to physically connect a generator to the electric grid, whether on the customer side of the meter, or on the utility side of the meter. Getting permission to interconnect with Duke Energy’s grid is relatively easy, but there are  several important steps the customer must follow to ensure that it is done properly and safely. Please note the interconnection process does not constitute an agreement to sell power or net meter.

Contact information

Mailing Address:
Duke Energy Progress
Attention: Customer Owned Generation – Mail Code ST14Q
P.O. Box 1010
Charlotte, NC 28201

Email: CustomerOwnedGeneration@duke-energy.com
Phone: 866.233.2290

Overnight Mailing Address:
Duke Energy Progress
Attention: Customer Owned Generation – Mail Code ST14Q
400 South Tryon Street Charlotte, NC 28202

We recommend that customers become familiar with interconnection procedures before starting a project. We also recommend for projects larger than 20 kW that customers become familiar with Duke Energy’s Method Of Service Guidelines.

Methods of Service Guidelines

Interconnection of all types of distributed energy resources (DER) has the potential for significant impacts to the generation, transmission and distribution system used to deliver reliable and high quality electrical energy to Duke Energy customers. Distributed energy resources come in many “shapes and sizes,” and their attributes lend themselves to interconnection to different parts of the Duke Energy system based on those attributes. By guiding very large generating facilities directly to the transmission system, and smaller facilities to the distribution system closer to where energy is ultimately consumed, Duke Energy Carolinas’ and Duke Energy Progress’ DER Method Of Service Guidelines can assure effective and sustainable methods of interconnection of distributed generating facilities while maintaining safe, reliable and economical service to all classes of customers, including distributed generators.

The Carolinas continue to be one of the most unique and active areas of the country for installation of distributed energy resources, large and small, and as of the summer of 2017, we are seeing record levels of interconnections and projects being added to the interconnection queue. Duke Energy Carolinas and Duke Energy Progress created an implementation matrix for its DER Method Of Service Guidelines to ensure proper treatment of interconnection project studies while beginning to implement the Method Of Service Guidelines in fall 2017.

For Transmission Interconnection or if wheeling power, please see the OATT interconnection information.