The JOED Board of Directors extends its thanks to guest Tom Looney for his presentation at last week’s board meeting. Mr. Looney discussed a new initiative, Driving Sustained Economic Development in Coastal NC with Oyster Mariculture. As a member of the North Carolina Coastal Federation’s Board of Directors and President’s Council, Tom emphasized that oyster restoration and mariculture are key initiatives that will drive  economic development and jobs while supporting a healthy coastal environment. The plan intends to build a $100 Million Coastal Industry in North Carolina. While this is not “traditional economic development”, it is a plan that can provide unique opportunities for Onslow County and coastal North Carolina.Attendees asked insightful questions, shared information about current local oyster restoration efforts, and gained a clearer understanding of this initiative. Thanks to all who joined us, especially our elected representatives who are committed to the creation of opportunities for rural North Carolinians.