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NC water quality projects granted $1.8 million, AG announces

Release date: 11/22/2013

Environmental Enhancement Grants help clean up waterways, restore natural habitats

Raleigh: Grants totaling $1.8 million will go to improve water quality, protect North Carolina’s waterways and wildlife habitat, and help farmers with environmental management, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today.
 
“North Carolina is fortunate to be home to many natural treasures,” Cooper said.  “These grants will help preserve and protect these areas so they can be enjoyed by future generations for decades to come.” 

The grants are the eleventh in a series awarded to environmental projects under a settlement reached in 2000 between the Attorney General’s Office and Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer.  Under the agreement, Smithfield agreed to provide $50 million over 25 years to improve the environment and $15 million to North Carolina State University to fund development of new technologies for the processing and treatment of hog waste.

Since the Environmental Enhancement Grant Program began, Cooper has awarded more than $21 million to 84 projects.   Projects supported by the grants have resulted in the closure of 213 animal waste lagoons, restoration or conservation of more than 20,000 acres of natural areas and wildlife habitat, and the funding of environmental education and research initiatives.
 
The following projects were selected to receive grants this year to help enhance North Carolina’s environment:
 
The Wildlife Resources Commission has been awarded $400,000 to create, enhance, or maintain 2,000 acres of priority wildlife habitats on North Carolina farms. With the cooperation of poultry and livestock producers, the Wildlife Resources Commission will educate landowners and resource professionals about installing and maintaining early successional vegetative buffers to enhance water quality and biodiversity.
 
The Nature Conservancy has been awarded $300,000 to acquire and protect forested buffers in the Black River Basin. This grant will help acquire 380 acres of bottomland hardwood forest including a grove of 1,700 year-old cypress trees along the Black River and its tributaries in Sampson and Pender counties.
 
The North Carolina Coastal Land Trust will receive $300,000 to enhance water quality, conserve and restore wetlands, and protect wildlife habitat in Columbus County. The Coastal Land Trust will acquire 300 acres of bottomland hardwood and cypress gum swamp along the Waccamaw River, a portion of which will be transferred to the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation for inclusion in the Lake Waccamaw State Park, pending State approval.
 
The NC Foundation of Soil & Water Conservation won a grant of $300,000 to close inactive animal waste lagoons. The Foundation plans to close at least 10 inactive lagoons and provide training on implementation standards and closure plan development to 75 soil and water conservation district employees.
 
The NC Coastal Federation has been awarded $210,419 to restore three acres of tidal marsh and floodplain along Ward Creek in Carteret County. By reducing agricultural runoff, the Coastal Federation hopes to restore prime shellfish growing waters and reopen portions of the White Oak River Basin currently closed to shellfish harvesting.
 
The Tar River Land Conservancy will receive $155,000 to protect water quality and wildlife habitat in Franklin County. The Land Conservancy will permanently protect 84 acres on Fishing Creek, Wolfpen Branch and the Tar River, which supply drinking water for Warrenton, Enfield, Louisburg, Rocky Mount and Tarboro.
 
The Pamlico-Tar River Foundation will receive $101,485 to implement the Greens Mill Run Local Watershed Plan, reducing stormwater volume and nutrient contributions from East Carolina University’s main campus. The project will serve as an educational demonstration of proper management techniques for urban stormwater runoff.
 
The Attorney General’s Office is currently accepting applications for the next round of Environmental Enhancement Grants.  Letters of intent from those planning to apply for a grant are due by 5:00 PM on Monday, December 2 and proposals are due by 11:00 AM on Friday, January 17, 2014.  To learn more or apply for a grant, visit www.ncdoj.gov/EEG.aspx.



Media contact: Noelle Talley