Posted in:

NC Water, Land Projects Awarded $14.6M

A living shoreline project on Stump Sound in Onslow County. Photo: North Carolina Coastal Federation

Several projects to protect land and water in North Carolina have been awarded grants through the Clean Water Management Trust Fund.

Grants totaling $14.6 million will fund 39 projects from the mountains to the coast, Gov. Roy Cooper announced this week.

The North Carolina Land and Water Fund, formerly known as the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, awarded funds that will help protect 6,710 acres including more than 6,155 acres for the public to hike, hunt, boat, bird and other recreational uses. Additionally, the grants will protect 102 types of rare plants, animals, and natural communities, including 12 plants and animals that are threatened or endangered, according to the state.

“North Carolina is blessed with natural beauty and resources that we all share a duty to protect,” said Cooper. “These grants will fund key projects to safeguard our land and water, provide more opportunities for outdoor recreation, and support our military and economy.”

More than $10 million of the grants will go to rural and economically distressed counties.

Funds were awarded to eight projects to restore or enhance over 10 miles of streams, rivers and estuaries, five projects designed to evaluate innovative techniques for managing stormwater and six planning projects to identify key water quality and conservation opportunities in mountain, piedmont, and coastal watersheds.

New Bern was awarded a $100,000 Innovative Stormwater Project grant fund the Duffyfield Stormwater Enhancement Project that involves enlarging a stormwater retention pond located at East Rose and Biddle streets, as well as the pump station attached to the pond.  A new, standby generator will also be installed. The total project cost for this phase is $870,551.

The Duffyfield community has experienced repeated flooding over the years, exacerbated by hurricanes. With its low elevation and proximity to the Neuse River, the community is susceptible to damage from severe weather events.  

“We appreciate the investment in our community by the Clean Water Management Trust Fund,” said Amanda Ohlensehlen, Community and Economic Development manager.  “Our goal is to reduce flooding and physical damage from floodwaters, but also to engineer beautiful greenspaces that help improve the environment and promote public health.”

The Nature Conservancy was awarded $1.2 million for property acquisition of 421 Sand Ridge natural area north of Wilmington.

The North Carolina Coastal Federation received $75,000 for a water quality plan to protect the shellfish waters of Stump Sound north of Surf City.

The board also compiled a list of projects to be provisionally funded if any additional revenue is available from annual license plate sales and returned grants. Among those is $400,000 for the federation  and the Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point for a living shoreline in Carteret County.

A full list of awards is available on the website at https://cwmtf.nc.gov/docs/2020-awards/open.

About the Author

Staff Report

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