Hyde County recognized for watershed restoration at Lake Mattamuskeet

Published 6:23 pm Wednesday, August 7, 2019

The North Carolina Coastal Federation recognized Hyde County, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission for their efforts to develop a watershed restoration plan for Lake Mattamuskeet and Bill Trimyer, Kill Devil Hills resident and federation volunteer who has been a key player in the federation’s Restaurant to Reef oyster shell recycling program, at its 2019 Pelican Awards on Aug. 3 at the Crystal Coast Civic Center in Morehead City.

The federation’s annual awards event is held to recognize the exceptional people, community associations, businesses and government agencies that make standout contributions to protecting and restoring the North Carolina coastal environment over the past year.

“The Pelican Awards were created to celebrate very special people and organizations who work to protect and restore our coast,” said Todd Miller, federation executive director. “The recipients this year come from different walks of life, but still work tirelessly to keep our coast healthy and beautiful.”

Hyde County, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission received the award for “Fostering Successful Partnerships that Protect and Restore the Coast.”

Declining water quality and elevated water levels are threatening the future of Lake Mattamuskeet and lands within the watershed. In order to combat the problem, these groups worked together to develop a watershed restoration plan to reverse the trend of degradation to the lake.

By working together, the project partners will be able to help protect and area that serves as a premier overwintering site for over 300,000 migratory waterfowl, a location for educational and recreational activities and supports residents who depend on a healthy lake for their livelihoods.

Bill Trimyer received the award for “Outstanding Volunteer Contributions to Our Coast.” He has spent many long, hot and smelly hours collecting oyster shells from local businesses in order to return them to the water.

“The reward for me is contributing to cleaner waters and lands,” said Trimyer.“I believe I have a responsibility to leave my little corner of the world cleaner than how I found it. This award stands as a symbol of many hands joined together to give back for future generations.”

The shell recycling program is entirely based upon the help of amazing volunteers like Trimyer.

The awards event and evening celebration was made possible by several community sponsors, including lead sponsor Wells Fargo. Visit nccoast.org/celebrate or call 252-393-8185 for more information on the Pelican Awards.