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State Awards $1M for Access Projects

More than $1 million in grants have been awarded to eight local governments for public beach and water access improvement projects.

The North Carolina Division of Coastal Management announced Monday the recipients of the grants funded by the North Carolina General Assembly through the state’s Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.

“North Carolina continues to fund coastal waterfront access projects that allow people of the state and its visitors to enjoy our coastal waters and beaches as a key part of our coastal economy,” said Michael S. Regan, secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality, in a statement.

Funds can be used for access projects such as walkways, dune crossovers, restrooms, parking areas, piers and related projects as well as for land acquisition or urban waterfront revitalization.

The division awarded grants to the following:

  • Nags Head: $47,232 for beach access improvements to include a parking area with handicapped accessible parking, at-grade walkway connecting to existing crossover, lighting, shower, trash can, bike rack, landscaping, stormwater retention area and signage.
  • Pasquotank County: $79,750 for Pasquotank River Boardwalk Public Access Improvement Phase III replacement of about 750 linear feet of boardwalk decking and railing along the Pasquotank River and on the canoe/kayak launch.
  • Atlantic Beach: $88,750 for replacement of about 430 linear feet dune crossover at the Durham Avenue Public Beach Access.
  • Washington: $280,560 for replacement of a 976 feet of the existing wooden boardwalk.
  • Carolina Beach: $195,500 for the acquisition of a .14-acre lot for public beach access parking.
  • Kure Beach: $100,866 to replace the existing beach access 1004.5 crossover that has stairs with an 8-foot wide, ADA-compliant flat ramp and add solar lighting.
  • Oak Island: $148,500 for the renovation and expansion to the only beach bathhouse facility with ADA access and parking at Middleton Park.
  • Varnamtown: $95,620 for acquisition of a .10 acre of land adjacent to existing public ramp.

The Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access program provides matching funds to local governments in the 20 coastal counties. Governments that receive grants must match them by contributing at least 25 percent toward the project’s cost. State Division of Coastal Management staff chose the recipients based on criteria set by the Coastal Resources Commission.

The grant program has provided more than $47 million for nearly 451 public waterfront access sites since the program began in 1981.

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Staff Report

The story was compiled by staff members of Coastal Review Online.