Wednesday, June 19, 2024

$1M in beach access grants awarded to seven area municipalities

One beach access at Carolina Beach (Port City Daily/Alexandria Sands Williams).

SOUTHEASTERN N.C. — Local governments in Brunswick and New Hanover counties received thousands of dollars in grants to improve public access to the beach and other waters on Wednesday. 

The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Coastal Management awarded more than $1.7 million to nine local governments — seven of which are located in the tri-county. 

Eligible projects include walkways, dune crossovers, restrooms, parking areas, piers and more. Funds also may be used for land acquisition or urban waterfront revitalization.

The Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access program provides matching funds to local governments in the state’s 20 coastal counties. Those that receive grants must match them by contributing at least 25 percent toward the project’s cost.

Money coming into the southeastern North Carolina region includes:

  • $51,875 for the City of Wilmington to install a non-motorized boat launch and pedestrian picnic area on Bradley Creek adjacent to the Oleander Drive bridge.
  • $131,250 for the Town of Carolina Beach to install of a new gazebo, walkway and canoe and kayak launch on Starfish Lane.
  • $141,000 for the City of Southport to construct an ADA canoe/kayak launch at the old wastewater treatment plant.
  • $250,000 for the Town of Calabash to improve Calabash Waterfront Park and provide a canoe/kayak access, pier/dock area with shade and seating for fishing, nature viewing and a boardwalk and picnic pavilion and restrooms.
  • $84,620 for the Town of Caswell Beach to rebuild an ADA beach access way at the Regional Access site.
  • $50,239 for the Town of Holden Beach to construct an ADA compliant wooden walkover for pedestrian access to the beach at Holden Beach Pier area Beach Access.
  • $250,000 for the Town of Sunset Beach to acquire the Majestic Oak property/subdivision. Future use would be to add fishing pier, canoe/kayak launch and other park amenities.

“Providing safe access to our coasts helps North Carolina residents and visitors enjoy our natural resources,” Elizabeth S. Biser, secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality, said in a press release. “This funding supports local governments, communities and our coastal economy.”

The North Carolina General Assembly funds the grant program, established in 1981, through the state’s Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.

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