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Deadline Extended for Beach Access Grants

A beach access in Surf City. Photo: Surf City Parks & Recreation

In response to the effects of measures the state is taking to help minimize the spread of COVID-19, local governments looking to apply for funding to improve public access to coastal beaches and waters have been given extra time to submit their preapplication.

The Division of Coastal Management has extended the deadline from April 17 to 5 p.m. May 15 for 2020-21 Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Grant preapplications.  The timeline for submission of final applications has not changed and remains due on Aug.17 with selected projects to begin January 2021 and completed by July 2022.

The division announced in January that the about $1 million in funding was available to local governments in the 20 coastal counties to be used to improve public access to coastal beaches and waters for the 2020-21 fiscal year. Projects can include walkways, dune crossovers, restrooms, parking areas, piers and related projects. Funds also may be used for land acquisition or urban waterfront revitalization.

Local governments interested in funding can access the application packet and contact information for their district planners on the DCM website.

Staff with the state Division of Coastal Management selected the recipients based on criteria set by the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission.

The Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access program provides matching funds to local governments to construct low-cost public access facilities. Funding for the grant program comes from the state General Assembly through the state’s Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.

The grant program has provided more than $48 million for more than 459 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.