Environmental Enhancement Grants fund projects from the mountains to the coast

Raleigh: – October 5, 2015 – (RealEstateRama) — $1.8 million in grants will go to projects intended to protect waterways, preserve wildlife, improve water quality, and help farmers with conservation and environmental management efforts, Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today.

“As North Carolinians, we are privileged to enjoy natural wonders from the mountains to the coast,” Cooper said. “This funding will help preserve our environment and its resources for generations to come.”

The grants are made possible by an agreement signed in 2000 between the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office and Smithfield Foods, the world’s largest pork producer. In the agreement, Smithfield committed to provide $50 million to improve North Carolina’s environment. An additional $15 million was provided to North Carolina State University to fund the development of new technologies for processing and treatment of hog waste.

To date, Cooper has awarded more than $25 million to 100 recipients through the Environmental Enhancement Grants Program. Funds from the Smithfield Agreement have been used to close 231 animal waste lagoons, restore and protect 23,137 acres of natural areas and wildlife habitat, and support a variety of environmental education and research initiatives.

2014 Environmental Enhancement Grant Recipients

Durham Soil & Water Conservation District was awarded $435,000 to improve water quality in the Falls Lake and Neuse River watersheds by continuing its work on the Southern High School campus in Durham. The District will install a variety of stormwater treatment and reduction measures to reduce nutrient input to Falls Lake, a significant drinking-water source for much of Wake County.

NC Foundation for Soil & Water Conservation will receive $333,500 to preserve on-farm natural resources and protect water quality through a variety of initiatives including the closing of eight inactive animal waste lagoons and installation of four on-farm water conservation measures. The Foundation will also provide training to local soil and water conservation district staff, enabling them to assist local farmers with designing and implementing conservation practices.

NC Coastal Federation was awarded $203,717 to install measures to reduce stormwater runoff in Bradley and Hewletts Creeks within the White Oak River Basin. The Federation will also refine and promote a stormwater permitting tool for more efficient stormwater prevention and reduction designs.

Southern Appalachian Highlands Conservancy will receive $225,000 to protect 1,245 acres in the New, French Broad, Catawba, and Little Tennessee River watersheds. The project will cover more than 13 miles of streams and rivers and will restore 1,000 feet of river banks and buffers.

Tar River Land Conservancy was awarded $225,000 to purchase 162 acres on Ledge and Holman Creeks adjoining 220 acres already under conservation. The tracts include 2.6 miles of streams, 149 acres of forest, and 21 acres within the 100-year floodplains.

The Conservation Fund has been awarded $150,000 to acquire up to 125 acres as part of its Protection of the French Broad Headwaters project. The acquisition will improve public access and reduce pollution in the French Broad River.

Piedmont Land Conservancy has been granted $110,000 to acquire a 13.88 acre Significant Natural Heritage Site on the Deep River in Randolph County. The Conservancy plans to transfer the property to the Town of Franklinville to be managed as a public nature preserve.

The Land Trust for Central NC has been granted $120,000 to purchase 56 acres on the Uwharrie River in Montgomery County, adjacent to the Uwharrie National Forest. The property will be managed for biodiversity protection, wildlife habitat, education and recreation.

The Attorney General’s Office will soon begin accepting applications for the next cycle of Environmental Enhancement Grants. Those interested in applying should submit letters of intent by Monday, November 2, 2015. Completed proposals will be due by Friday, December 11, 2015. For more information, visit ncdoj.gov.

Contact:  Noelle Talley

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