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
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
• 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