Meck County’s 2012 State of the Environment Report Goes Live

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How’s the air out there? Is the water getting better? Are we recycling as much as we could be? The verdict on all of the above, according to a new online resource unveiled by Mecklenburg County this week, is mixed, but encouraging.
The 2012 Mecklenburg County State of the Environment Report (SOER) — which assesses the County’s progress in air, water, land, and waste management – is now online at http://charmeck.org/mecklenburg/county/LUESA/soer/Pages/default.aspx

The semiannual report takes an honest, comprehensive look at what we have accomplished environmentally since 1987. The bad news is the air we breathe in could still be better, surface water quality remains partially impaired, and our recycling rate has room for improvement.

But there is some good news. In many areas, we’re headed in the right direction. The environmental quality of life in Mecklenburg County has improved steadily as community programs are implemented and residents become more informed and take an active role in reducing their environmental footprint

For the first time, the State of the Environment Report is available online as a dynamic website that will be updated as new data becomes available. Videos that explore different aspects of our local environment have been added as well.

“Mecklenburg County has opportunities for residents to become a part of the decision-making process and reduce negative environmental impact,” said Heidi Pruess, environmental policy administrator for Mecklenburg County. “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 2012 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 2010 survey shows that 49 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.

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