RALEIGH — The state Division of Coastal Management says about $1 million is available to local help governments in 20 coastal counties improve public access to coastal beaches and waters.
The division announced the grants Tuesday. The funding, available for the 2018-19 fiscal year, is available through the Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access program, which 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 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 p.m. April 9. Local governments will be notified by May 9 if their proposal is selected to submit a final application.
Final applications are anticipated to be due in August. All final applicants will be notified in September if their project has been selected for funding.
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 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.