The divisions of Coastal Management and Marine Fisheries, both under the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, have received funding to expand efforts along the coast.
The Division of Coastal Management has received more than $13 million in state and federal funds to provide final engineering and design technical assistance for local government projects through the four-phase Resilient Coastal Communities Program.
Of that, $13 million, $3 million is one of 109 grants announced by the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in November. The division was allocated $10 million in the recently passed state budget to be used for the Resilient Coastal Communities Program, as well.
“These most recent investments in our Resilient Coastal Communities Program will help more coastal communities plan, design, and complete projects that help reduce impacts and speed up recovery following coastal storm events,” Braxton Davis, Division of Coastal Management director, said in a statement.
Additional details about the local government grants, including timing, eligibility, funding levels, allowable activities, and match requirements, will be published to the Division of Coastal Management website in early 2024, followed by a request for proposals.
The department’s Division of Marine Fisheries was awarded more than $89,000 as one of the 109 grants for final design and planning to install living shorelines and low-impact stormwater retrofits.
The division, in partnership with the University of North Carolina Institute of Marine Sciences, is planning to install a living shoreline along about 775 feet of the adjacent properties in Morehead City, as well as install stormwater retrofits to reduce runoff at the division’s headquarters campus.
Matching funds of $5,500 brings the total amount of Phase 1 of the project to more than $95,000. The division plans to seek funding in subsequent years for the construction and monitoring phase of the project.
“The project will demonstrate dual benefits to both coastal communities and habitats and will result in the restoration of natural systems to increase the resilience of communities from coastal hazards and improve habitats for fish and wildlife,” Division of Marine Fisheries Director Kathy Rawls said in a statement.
The grants were awarded through the National Coastal Resilience Fund, a partnership between Fish and Wildlife, NOAA, the Department of Defense, Shell USA, TransRe, SalesForce and Oxy. The fund supports capacity building and larger-scale planning, design, and implementation projects to help improve community and coastal habitat resilience and reduce risks and devastating impacts of rising seas, coastal flooding, and more intense storms.