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N.C. Clean Water Management Trust Fund Closes Out 2017 Grant Year with Nearly $26 million in Awards

Raleigh

The state’s Clean Water Management Trust Fund will help conserve lands and protect waterways serving millions of North Carolinians through nearly $26 million in grants awarded in the 2017 grant year to help fund 66 projects throughout the state. 

The funds will be used to protect more than 16,000 acres, including western waterfalls, maritime forests, historic forts, greenways and trails. Over 11,400 acres will be open to the public for hiking, birding and other recreational uses. Grants were awarded for projects to restore over 33 miles of the state’s waterways, and will help protect hundreds of species of rare plants and animals. 

“The Clean Water Management Trust Fund plays a vital role in protecting water quality, open spaces, and treasured cultural resources for future generations,” said Susi H. Hamilton, secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “The fund’s mission is critical to the economic sustainability of our state, helping to make North Carolina an attractive place to live, work and visit.”

The total amount includes $4 million in additional funds raised through license plate sales since the initial grants were awarded at the Clean Water Management Trust Fund board meeting in September 2017.

While more than $20 million in grants were awarded in September 2017, many notable projects across the state were left unfunded because grant requests totaling $67 million far exceeded the amount of available funds. In response, the CWMTF board compiled a list of projects to be provisionally funded with any additional revenue received from annual license plate sales and returned grants. 

“It is important that we put every dollar that is entrusted to us to good use and not let it sit idle,” said CWMTF Board Chair Greer Cawood. “With these additional funds, we protected over 5,700 acres, including additions to four Wildlife Resources Commission Game Lands, two state parks and the protected vista of the State Historic Site at Fort Dobbs.” 

The additional monies were used to fund projects such as the purchase of the northeast ridgeline of Grandfather Mountain, one of the last pieces of land to be protected as part of Grandfather Mountain State Park. The area contains multiple rare and endangered species, including Heller’s Blazing Star and Roan Mountain Bluet. 

Another provisionally funded project will install artificial reefs to protect Fort Anderson/Brunswick Town State Historic Site from accelerated erosion along the shoreline of the Cape Fear River. Once a colonial town razed by the British, Fort Anderson was reconstructed as a confederate embattlement to protect Wilmington during the U.S. Civil War. The artificial reefs will not only prevent further erosion and potential damage to the fort, but will also provide new aquatic habitat and stimulate fishing in the area. 

CWMTF Executive Director Walter Clark said, “The funded projects represent a collection of irreplaceable resources that are now protected for the benefit of all North Carolinians.”      

A full list of funded projects is available on the CWMTF website