State officials announce $1 million in funding to improve public beach access

Raleigh, NC

The state Division of Coastal Management recently announced the availability of approximately $1 million in funding to local help governments in 20 coastal counties improve public access to coastal beaches and waters for the 2018-19 fiscal year. The Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access program provides matching funds to local governments in the 20 coastal counties.

“We are happy to be able to offer this funding on a continuous basis to improve our state’s beach access sites,” said Michael S. Regan, secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality. “Availability of this funding provides a public service to our state’s residents and visitors and will help strengthen our economy.”

Local governments interested in applying for financial assistance must submit a pre-application to the Division of Coastal Management by 5:00 pm on April 9, 2018. Local governments will be notified by Wednesday, May 9, 2018 if their proposal is selected to submit a final application.

Final Applications are anticipated to be due in Aug. 2018. All final applicants will be notified in September if their project has been selected for funding. For more information on the application process, go to https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/coastal-management/coastal-management-beach-waterfront-awareness-program/public-access-grant-application-package.

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 $46 million for more than 446 public waterfront access sites since the program began in 1981. For more information about the program, go to:https://deq.nc.gov/about/divisions/coastal-management/coastal-management-beach-waterfront-access-program/about-beach-access.

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