State officials extend deadline for public beach access grants

Morehead City

The Division of Coastal Management is extending the deadline for 2020-21 Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Grant pre-applications to 5 p.m. on May 15.  The original deadline was April 17.

The extension is in response to the impacts of measures the state is taking to help minimize the spread of COVID-19.

 The overall timeline for submission of final applications has not changed. They remain due on Aug.17 with selected projects to begin January 2021 and completed by July 2022.

Local governments interested in applying for financial assistance can access the application package and find contact information for their district planners on the DCM website.

In January, the state Division of Coastal Management announced the availability of approximately $1 million in funding to help local governments in 20 coastal counties improve public access to coastal beaches and waters for the 2020-21 fiscal year. The Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access program provides matching funds to local governments to construct low-cost public access facilities.

Funding for the grant program comes from the North Carolina General Assembly through the state’s Parks and Recreation Trust Fund. Access projects may include walkways, dune crossovers, restrooms, parking areas, piers and related projects. Funds also may be used for land acquisition or urban waterfront revitalization. Staff with the state Division of Coastal Management selected the recipients based on criteria set by the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission.

The grant program has provided more than $48 million for more than 459 public waterfront access sites since the program began in 1981. For more information about the Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access program, go to the DCM website.

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