Volume I; issue x | May 2020
Eastern Carolina Council of Governments (ECCOG) would love to share your news with the Region. Email your stories to eccadmin@eccog.org
COVID-19 Related
Enacting and Amending County and City Emergency Ordinances: What Rules Apply?
As counties and cities continue their efforts to protect public health and safety during the COVID-19 crisis, some have discovered that their local emergency ordinances need updating. For jurisdictions that do not regularly face the threat of natural disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires, and winter ice storms, it is understandable that a local emergency ordinance might not be reviewed and updated as often as one which addresses matters more frequently considered such as zoning. Now, with COVID-19 impacting every jurisdiction in our state, some counties and cities are forced to exercise emergency powers they never envisioned needing. As city and county officials reach for their local emergency ordinances, some are discovering that their ordinances are out of date or don’t properly vest the appropriate city or county official with the full array of legal authorities granted under the State Emergency Management Act (G.S. Chapter 166A). What do to?... Read More
Electronic Meetings During the COVID-19 Emergency: Recommended Practices
Electronic meetings have quickly become a fact of life for many local governments in North Carolina as officials have acted to limit the spread of the Coronavirus. This post summarizes some of the advice that my colleagues and I have been giving on best practices for electronic meetings.... Read More
Upcoming Training Opportunities
Please note some trainings may be postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
April 6- May 31 - Virtual Meetings 101
Free one-on-0ne trainings about how to hold an effective online meetings.
May 6, June 10, July 8 - CDFA - ARI Rural Finance Webinar Series
Watershed Restoration Grants
DWR is seeking proposals for award of federal fiscal year 2020 319(h) grant funds to implement watershed restoration plans that will help restore waters impaired by nonpoint sources of pollution. For FY 2020, NC expects to receive $1.3 Million from the USEPA for competitive funding of watershed restoration projects under Section 319(h) of the Clean Water Act. DWR will accept applications for FY2020 319 funding until May 4, 2020. 
Regional Happenings
The North Carolina Coastal Federation and Carteret County have partnered on the purchase of 76.25 acres of land in Ocean, a community between Morehead City and Swansboro, the federation announced Monday. Click here to read more.
Older Americans Month 2020: Make Your Mark
Around the nation, older adults make their marks every day as volunteers, employees, employers, parents, grandparents, mentors, and advocates. They offer their time, talents, and experience to the benefit of our communities.

For 57 years, Older Americans Month (O AM) has been a special time to recognize these contributions. Led by the Administration for Community Living (ACL) each May, OAM also provides resources to help older Americans stay healthy and independent, and materials to help communities support and celebrate their citizens.

This year’s OAM theme, Make Your Mark , highlights older adults’ unique and lasting contributions to their communities—everything from sharing a story with grandchildren to leaving a legacy of community action. In the spirit of this theme, here are a few ways to make your mark this May and all year long:

Volunteer your time . Local schools, shelters, food kitchens, and hospitals always need support. Help a neighbor by prepping a meal, picking up groceries, or giving them a ride. Or, take time to pass on your knowledge. Why not tutor a student who could use extra help in math, music, or science?

Share your story . There are so many ways to do this, from showing your grandkids around your old neighborhood to writing a book. Take a class and learn how to express yourself with the arts! Or, assemble a photo album of important moments in your life.

Get involved in your neighborhood . Join a homeowner or resident association, organize a block party, or sign up for a book club or other social group. Have a green thumb? Small projects like planting flowers in your yard or cleaning up the community park have a big impact.
Communities that support and include all their members are stronger!
 Join Eastern Carolina Council Area Agency on Aging in celebrating older adults and community members that make a mark. 
How do you make your mark?
Need OAM resources or want to learn more? Visit the official website, acl.gov/oam , and follow ACL on Twitter and Facebook .
Atlantic Harbor Project
The contractor has begun dredging on the long-awaited project to make Atlantic Harbor and its entrance channel safer and more usable for commercial fishermen and other boaters.

Virtual Support Groups During COVID-19 Stronger Together

Eastern Carolina Council Area Agency on Aging (ECCAAA) staff know that this is a challenging time for many of the people we serve. Social distancing has left many caregivers feeling lonely and isolated. ECCAAA staff has partnered with local support group facilitators to offer online support groups to maintain support during COVID-19. The group offers a safe place to discuss the stresses, challenges, and rewards of providing care for a loved one. The virtual caregiver support groups are an unmoderated Zoom group for families, partners, and other caregivers of adults. Individuals can see other participants while maintain social distancing and connect with information and resources. Caregivers have received education on how to do a Zoom meeting and each support group has brought more caregivers together to connect during the time of isolation.

Benefits of participating in a support group includes:
  • Realizing you are not alone.
  • Feeling less lonely, isolated or judged.
  • Reducing distress, depression, anxiety or fatigue.
  • Talking openly and honestly about your feelings.
  • Improving skills to cope with challenges.
  • Learn new and helpful information from others.

For further information on local virtual support groups please contact:
January Brown, Family Caregiver Specialist, jbrown@eccog.org or 252-638-3185 ext. 3011.

Next Scheduled Meetings
Executive Committee Meeting - May 14, 20