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Towns Can Apply for Public Access Funds

Local governments in the 20 coastal counties can apply for funding to improve public access to beaches and waters for the 2021-22 fiscal year.

The North Carolina Division of Coastal Management recently announced the availability of about $1 million in funding through the Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access program, which provides matching funds to local governments for the construction of low-cost public access facilities such walkways, dune crossovers, restrooms, parking areas, piers and related projects. Funds also may be used for land acquisition or urban waterfront revitalization.

“Enhancing access to public waters is a really important part of our coastal program,” said Braxton Davis, division director, in a statement. “We are grateful to continue to offer this funding to local governments who partner with us to expand public access to beaches and waterfronts.”

Local governments interested in applying for financial assistance must submit a pre-application to the Division of Coastal Management by 5 p.m. April 16. Applicants will be notified by May 14 if their proposal is selected to submit a final application.

Final applications are expected to be due in August. All final applicants will be notified in September if their project has been selected for funding. For more information about the Public Access Grant application process, go to the DEQ website.

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

Funding for the grant program comes from the North Carolina General Assembly through the state’s Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. The grant program has provided more than $49.2 million for more than 470 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.