Nags Head, North Carolina | Photo courtesy of Zen Stock Photo
State grant money is going to help coastal North Carolina communities improve public access to beaches and waters in 2020.
The North Carolina Division of Coastal Management awarded more than $1 million to eight municipalities – Nags Head, Pasquotank County, Atlantic Beach, Washington, Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, Oak Island and Varnamtown.
Little Washington in Beaufort County received a grant of $280,560 for replacing existing wooden boardwalk along the Pamlico River. Carolina Beach in New Hanover County got $195,500 for buying a parking lot for public beach access. Oak Island in Brunswick County was granted $148,500 for renovating and expanding a beach bathhouse facility.
Kure Beach in New Hanover received $100,866 for renovating a beach-access crossover to become ADA-compliant and have solar lighting. Varnamtown in Brunswick got $95,620 for adding adjacent land to a public ramp. Atlantic Beach in Carteret County received $88,750 to replace a dune crossover walkway at a public beach access.
Pasquotank County was granted $79,750 for improving boardwalk decking and railing at a canoe/kayak launch site and along the Pasquotank River near the College of the Albemarle. Nags Head got $47,232 for improvements to the East Islington Street beach access. Improvements will be made to the parking area, walkway, lighting, landscaping, shower, bike rack, stormwater retention area and signage.
“North Carolina continues to fund coastal waterfront access projects that allow people of the state and its visitors to enjoy our coastal waters and beaches as a key part of our coastal economy,” said Michael S. Regan, secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality.
Governments must fund at least 25 percent of a project’s cost to get grant money from the N.C. Division of Coastal Management’s Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access program. Division of Coastal Management staff chooses the recipients on the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission’s criteria. Funds are from the state’s Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.