NC Environmental Organizations Receive $1.8 Million in Grant Funding from NCDOJ

NC Environmental Organizations Receive $1.8 Million in Grant Funding from NCDOJ
Image: Pixabay
October 12, 2015

The NC Department of Justice has awarded $1.8 million in grants that will go to projects intended to protect waterways, preserve wildlife, improve water quality, and help farmers with conservation and environmental management efforts.

The funding will be shared among eight organizations that will use the funding for various environmental projects including installing and upgrading stormwater infrastructure, closing animal waste lagoons and purchase land in sensitive areas to protect it from development.

Established in 2003, the Environmental Enhancement Grants Program is part of a 2000 agreement between the state attorney general's office and Smithfield Foods. As part of the agreement, the pork producer committed to provided $50 million to improve North Carolina's environment. NC State University also received an additional $15 million to fund the development of new technologies for processing and treating hog waste.

To date, more than half of the funding has been awarded to 100 recipients, which has been used to close about 230 animal waste lagoons, restore and protect more than 23,000 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.

Those interested in applying for the next round of funding should submit letters of intent by November 2. Completed proposals are due December 11.