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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Leland, Topsail and Sunset Beach awarded state funds for resiliency programs

Three Cape Fear coastal towns received state funding for resiliency strategies from the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Coastal Management.

The agency awarded 22 communities — five counties and 17 municipalities — for phase 3 of the resilient coastal communities program, totaling more than $1.14 million.

Of those, it includes the Town of Leland, Town of Sunset Beach and Topsail Island.

“Our coastal communities have seen the impacts of climate change firsthand,” Gov. Roy Cooper said in a press release. “These grants will help make our state stronger and more resilient.”

The RCCP, implemented over four stages, supports communities in pursuing locally driven strategies to reduce the impacts of coastal hazards like flooding and storms. The initiative provides funding to local governments to help overcome barriers in coastal resilience and adaptation planning, boost local government capacity, and support a proactive, sustainable, and equitable approach to planning and project implementation.

The primary objective of Phase 3 is to provide funding with the engineering and design of an identified prioritized project. Most of the engineering and design projects feature natural and nature-based elements such as wetland restoration and living shorelines design.

Some communities will also receive funds to develop or amend ordinances that improve their resilience to flooding and other coastal hazards, or to take steps to manage stormwater and flooding.

Community applications were reviewed based on the following criteria: project alignment with the community Resilience Strategy priority ranking; project outcomes including environmental, social, and economic; the project’s ability to reduce the vulnerability of a critical asset or population; the project’s inclusion of nature-based or hybrid components; and the project’s ability to achieve the community’s vision and goals. 

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