The air we breathe in Mecklenburg County still could be better, surface water quality remains partially impaired, and our recycling rate has room for improvement.
But there is some good news. The environmental quality of life in Mecklenburg County is beginning to improve as residents become informed and take an active role in reducing their environmental footprint, as revealed in the newly released 2010 Mecklenburg County State of the Environment Report (SOER).
The semiannual report -- which assesses the County’s progress in air, water, land, and waste management – takes an honest, comprehensive look at what we have accomplished environmentally since 1987, when our greenways were still in the planning stages, “smart growth” was a buzzword yet to be created, and Huntersville was a sleepy village of a few thousand people. In 2010, the good news is we’ve learned a lot and made more great strides toward improving our environment, and more and more citizens are becoming involved.
“The State of the Environment Report gives the Mecklenburg County community an opportunity to be part of the solution,” said Heidi Pruess, environmental policy administrator for Mecklenburg County. “The facts offered up by the publication not only inform, but explain how and why residents should get involved to help improve our environment.”
For the first time, in an effort to save resources, the State of the Environment Report is available online-only, at mecklenburgcountync.gov.
Mecklenburg County has opportunities for residents to become a part of the decision-making process and reduce negative environmental impact. The State of the Environment Report is a tool for understanding our environmental condition while identifying strategies for ensuring that we have clean air to breathe, clean water to drink, and healthy land on which to live and recreate. The 2010 SOER encourages each resident to become a part of helping to make Mecklenburg County a Sustainable Community by:
- Describing Mecklenburg County’s current environmental status for the public and the Board of County Commissioners
- Highlighting the major environmental issues facing us
- Recommending direction and opportunities for involvement concerning those issues
- Giving the County objective measures to evaluate progress toward a clean, healthy environment.
A 2000 survey shows that 48 percent of respondents believe that protecting the environment is best accomplished at the local level, significantly more than at the state and federal level. The population in our region continues to increase, so the time is now to get involved and improve our environmental quality of life, becoming a Sustainable Community.