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Grants Available to Improve Beach Accesses

A Bogue Banks beach access ramp under construction in April 2018. File photo: Mark Hibbs

Updated March 19: 

The Division of Coastal Management announced Thursday that it is extending the deadline for 2020-21 Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Grant preapplications to 5 p.m. on May 15 from the original deadline of April 17.

The extension is in response to the impacts of measures the state is taking to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.

The overall timeline for submission of final applications has not changed. They remain due on Aug. 17 with selected projects to begin January 2021 and completed by July 2022.

Original Post Jan. 31:

Local governments in the 20 coastal counties can apply for fiscal year 2020 grants to improve public beach accesses, the state Division of Coastal Management announced Friday.

Around $1 million in funding is available for access projects such as walkways, dune crossovers, restrooms, parking areas, piers and related projects. Funds also may be used for land acquisition or urban waterfront revitalization.

The Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access program provides matching funds to local governments to construct low-cost public access facilities.

“This funding continues to allow the state to be a resource for successful rebuilding and restoring of our public spaces along the coast,” said Braxton Davis, director of the state Division of Coastal Management in a statement. “It is an important means to provide and maintain safe access for our residents and visitors.”

Local governments must submit a preapplication to the division by 5 p.m. April 17. Applicants will be notified by May 15 if their proposal is selected to submit a final application, anticipated to be due in August 2020.

Final applicants will be notified in September if their project was chosen for funding.

Funding for the grant program is from the North Carolina General Assembly through the state’s Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.  Staff with the division select recipients based on criteria set by the state Coastal Resources Commission.

The grant program has provided more than $48 million for more than 459 public waterfront access sites since it began in 1981.

For more information about the Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access program and the application process, visit the DEQ website.

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Staff Report

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