A young Neuse River waterdog. Photo: Jeff Beane/USFWS

NC - State awards $70.3M for public land, water projects | Coastal Review

More than 100 projects across the state have been awarded grants totaling $70.3 million through the North Carolina Land and Water Fund.

Of the 117 projects to protect land and water, several are in coastal counties and include living shorelines and land conservation.

“Clean water is critical for the health of our families and our economy,” Gov. Roy Cooper said Friday when the grants were announced. “These grants will benefit local communities by enhancing water quality and providing open space for North Carolinians to gather and enjoy the outdoors.”

The money went to 37 projects to restore or enhance more than 36 miles of streams, rivers, lakes and estuaries and to restore over 8,000 acres of drained wetlands, Cooper’s office said.

“The board considered over 145 outstanding applications from our conservation partners for a wide variety of great projects throughout the state,” said John Wilson, chair of the North Carolina Land and Water Fund board.

The North Carolina Coastal Land Trust has been awarded close to $4 million for acquisition projects in Craven, Onslow, Pamlico and Pender counties.

The Nature Conservancy has been awarded $708,170 to restore pocosin in Angola Bay Game Land in Pender County.

New Bern received $150,000 for Duffyfield stormwater enhancement.

Audubon North Carolina received $309,000 for pond and stream restoration at Pine Island in Currituck County and $135,000 for a restoration plan for Battery Island in Brunswick County.

The nonprofit Sound Rivers was awarded $44,500 for a watershed plan at Runyon Creek in Beaufort County.

The North Carolina Coastal Federation, which publishes Coastal Review, received awards for three living shoreline projects: Jockey’s Ridge State Park, $115,835; Core Sound, $750,000; and Marine Corps Air Station New River, $510,000. The Coastal Federation also received $238,945 for a project at Lux Farms in Hyde County, $180,658 for a project in North River Wetlands Reserve, $98,624 for a pervious paver project in Carteret County, and $332,381 to purchase land in Onslow County.

“In addition to protecting water quality, these state investments will increase recreation opportunities, conserve wildlife habitat, preserve historic and cultural sites, and enhance quality of life,” said Reid Wilson, secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.

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