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Attorney General Josh Stein Announces $1.2 Million in Environmental Grants in Central North Carolina

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, October 26, 2023

Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today announced $1,202,828 in nine Environmental Enhancement Grants (EEGs) to protect North Carolina’s air, water, and natural resources in central North Carolina. In 2023, Attorney General Stein is awarding $2.3 million in EEGs to 18 recipients throughout North Carolina.

Community Technical Assistance

Community Technical Assistance will receive $43,265 to connect young people and seniors in Goldsboro to clean up the Little Washington Community, which has been devastated by severe flooding over the years.

“This grant will help revitalize a community that has borne the brunt of too many natural disasters,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “The intergenerational nature of this project is particularly heartwarming. I look forward to hearing about the friendships that grow from this work.”

“CTA has been a supporter of LWGG for a long time,” said Little Washington Growing Group Executive Director Cheryl Alston. “Their Environmental Enhancement project is wonderful and is needed. The Black community will be honored by the work. Some good will come from the natural disaster and their plan to preserve nature and history.”

“I grew up in Washington Park and loved the community,” said the Rev. Ronald Whitley, Community Technical Assistance’s Executive Director. “We had many different types of residents from black farmers, police officers, church leaders, manufacture workers, coaches, schoolteachers, military, and everyday people who welcomed us. It’s an opportunity to not forget them and at the same time embrace the newly established eco-system, which has become what it is today. The Environmental Enhancement Grant will help restore a forgotten community while embracing the natural environment, which has grown from the roots of the people who once lived there.”

Eno River Association

The Eno River Association will receive $60,000 to help create a strategic conservation plan that protects the Eno River Basin and addresses underserved communities in Orange and Durham counties.

“Protecting our environment means taking a hard look at restoring the communities that have shouldered disproportionate environmental harm over the years,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I’m pleased that this grant will help address the past and improve the future.”

“Land trusts across the nation are shifting their priorities in response to the impacts of climate change and increased urbanization,” says Jessica Sheffield, Executive Director of the Eno River Association. “Determining which parcels to conserve, and when, must account for climate resiliency, economics, and environmental justice. That is a hefty and important responsibility for the Eno River Association to undertake. Funding from EEG for our strategic conservation planning efforts will allow us to better respond to climate change and a fast-growing Triangle region, and unwind longstanding systemic inequities in our land conservation practices.”

Lumbee Land Development

The Lumbee Land Development will receive $173,172 to study and improve the environmental design of Hayes Pond in Maxton, which is within Lumbee land.

“This grant will help the Lumbee people restore Hayes Pond and ensure that the area is equipped to handle the changing climate,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “Preserving Lumbee lands preserves an important part of North Carolina’s cultural and natural history to ensure a stronger future.”

“We look forward to the needed work, cleanup, and improvements at Maxton Pond,” said Lumbee Tribal Chairman John L. Lowery. “This area holds an important role in our Lumbee Tribal History. The project is very important to our Lumbee People. We want to thank Attorney General Josh Stein for his support and for funding this project. We look forward to seeing work get underway at Maxton Pond.”

North Carolina State University

North Carolina State University will receive $176,391 to study how to improve farm management of manure and flood risks in eastern North Carolina.

“North Carolina’s farmers are the backbone of our economy and help us feed our families,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “This grant will help them make the best decisions to ensure their farmlands stay healthy even as the climate changes.”

“This project aims to minimize impacts of climate variability on NC swine farms,” said Dr. Mahmoud Sharara, the principal researcher on the project. “To that goal, the project team will develop and make available a farm simulation tool to guide swine producers on optimal effluent management strategies to optimize nutrient use and reduce the risk of extreme weather events on lagoon stability.”

The Coharie Indian Tribe

The Coharie Indian Tribe will receive $150,000 to create a watershed protection plan to manage the Coharie River Watershed in Clinton.

“Every North Carolinian must have clean water to drink,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I’m pleased that this grant will help improve water quality in the Great Coharie River for those who rely on it.”

“This funding is imperative to future watershed protection activities and the growth of our Great Coharie River Initiative,” said Gregory Jacobs, Coharie Tribal Administrator. “By working with Greenman-Pederson Inc. to create an actionable watershed improvement plan, we see a path forward for community-led education, environmental restoration, and management efforts that protect the quality of our most valuable resource: The Great Coharie River.”

Tar River Land Conservancy

The Tar River Land Conservancy will receive $100,000 to purchase 134 acres of private property to safeguard 5,100 feet of streams and shoreline and create hiking and walking trails near Franklinton.

“This grant will help folks in Franklin County get out in nature and enjoy all that our beautiful state has to offer while preserving the river and the shoreline,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I’m proud to help support this effort, which will promote adventure and healthy lifestyles.”

“The purchase of the Annie Edwards family property will ensure that an important block of forest and streams is permanently protected as open space near the Tar River,” said Derek Halberg, Executive Director of Tar River Land Conservancy. “This acquisition will set the stage for TRLC to transform the property into a nature preserve with public hiking trails in a rapidly growing area of Franklin County. TRLC and our project partners are grateful to Attorney General Stein and his team for supporting this project.”

Three Rivers Land Trust

The Three Rivers Land Trust will receive $150,000 to purchase 1,011 acres of riparian forest to protect the Downing Creek Aquatic Habitat, the Drowning Creek Slops, and the Upper Drowning Creek Swamp Forest.

“Riparian forest helps filter people’s water supply and protect an ecosystem for aquatic and forest wildlife,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “This grant will help protect our drinking water and our natural habitats.”

“We are thankful for the support of the NC Attorney General and the Environmental Enhancement Grant Program for their commitment to protecting important waters in North Carolina,” said Three Rivers Land Trust Executive Director Travis Morehead. “This grant will support the permanent conservation of over 1,000 acres of land on Drowning Creek, which contains the Drowning Creek Aquatic Habitat and two terrestrial natural areas: Drowning Creek Slopes and Upper Drowning Creek Swamp Forest. Drowning Creek is the drinking water source for the Town of Southern Pines and this project will aid in protecting water quality in this important system.”

Wildlife and Outdoor Recreation Foundation

The Wildlife and Outdoor Recreation Foundation will receive $200,000 to purchase 48.12 acres to add to existing wetlands and implement measures to prevent flooding and erosion.

“Wetlands are crucial to keeping our water clean and helping habitats thrive in Nashville,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “This grant will help increase North Carolina’s wetlands and safeguard against flooding.”

“The Environmental Enhancement Grant (EEG) played a crucial role in the success of the Wildlife & Outdoor Recreation Foundation securing the land for the Stoney Creek Environmental Preservation Project,” said Tammy Rundle, Executive Director of the Wildlife and Outdoor Recreation Foundation. “The acquisition of the property was needed to preserve and enhance the wetlands within the Town of Nashville in an effort to help mitigate flooding, while conserving the native ecosystem biodiversity. Being awarded the EEG funding, this project can move forward, allowing for the restoration and preservation of these vital natural habitats that contribute to our clean air, land, and water.”

The Conservation Fund

The Conservation Fund will receive $150,000 to protect 3,530 acres along the Lumber River, which will become a part of the Lumber River State Park.

“Preserving this land allows us to protect water quality in southeastern North Carolina,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “That means folks will be safer and healthier. We’re also helping ensure that future generations can enjoy the beauty of their surroundings.”

“The Lumber River State Park is a gem in Southeastern North Carolina,” said Guenevere Abernathy, The Conservation Fund’s NC State Director. “It provides many public benefits, including outdoor recreation, wildlife conservation, economic development, and flood storage. The Conservation Fund thanks Attorney General Josh Stein for providing an EEG grant to help us expand the state park and increase public access in Robeson County.”

About the Environmental Enhancement Grant Program

The North Carolina Department of Justice’s Environmental Enhancement Grant program began after a 2000 agreement between the Attorney General’s Office and Smithfield Foods. Under that agreement, Smithfield provides $2 million to the state every year to be distributed among environmental projects across North Carolina. Including the 2023 grants, the Attorney General’s office has awarded nearly $43 million to more than 228 projects in the state. More information is available at