The North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Coastal Management has awarded more than $2.8 million to nine local governments to improve public access to coastal beaches and waters for the 2023-24 fiscal year.
“This funding makes our coasts more accessible to all North Carolina residents and visitors, so everyone has the opportunity to enjoy our natural resources,” said Elizabeth S. Biser, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality. “We are proud to partner with local governments and communities to support projects that also benefit our coastal economy.”
Grants were awarded to the following local governments:
- Town of Carolina Beach received $600,000 for the acquisition of three adjacent parcels on Canal Drive on the north end of town will provide parking and access to the beach and Freeman Park.
- City of Washington received $800,000 for renovations to the Washington Wetlands Boardwalk. This phase will complete renovations to the approximately 1,981 ft. boardwalk along the city’s waterfront.
- Town of Holden Beach received $420,000 for development of Block Q. This project will create new restrooms and parking for beach access, a boat ramp, and public entertainment area. The project also includes landscaping and stormwater improvements.
- Hyde County received $108,900 for renovations to the Far Creek Boardwalk. This phase will complete renovations to the boardwalk along Far Creek in Englehard.
- Town of Kure Beach received $71,025 for improvements to Public Beach Access #140. This project will replace the existing 8 ft. wide 134 ft. long wooden walkway with a 10 ft. wide ADA accessible walkway to the beach.
- Town of Kure Beach received $62,700 for improvements to Public Beach Access #99. This project will replace the existing 8 ft. wide 97. ft long wooden walkway with a 10 ft. wide ADA accessible walkway to the beach.
- Town of Nags Head received $89,313 for improvements to the Governor Street Public Beach Access. Improvements include construction of a new ADA-accessible elevated dune crossover with associative ADA-compliant parking stalls, and a shower station upfit.
- Town of Sunset Beach received $153,578 for the 29th Street Renovations. This project will renovate the existing beach access at 29th Street.
- Town of Sunset Beach received $153,578 for renovations to the existing beach access at 37th Street.
- Town of Sunset Beach received $153,578 for renovations to the existing beach access at 34th Street.
- Town of Surf City received $10,875 for updates to the Broadway Street Access Site. This project will update the existing public restrooms and outdoor showers to meet ADA accessibility standards, pave dedicated handicapped accessible parking spaces and walkways to the restrooms and beach accessway.
- Town of Winton received $189,325 for improvements to the Winton Town Park. Improvements include construction of a new fishing pier with boat slips; replacement of the decking on the existing boardwalk; renovation of the restrooms to meet ADA specifications; paving of dedicated handicapped accessible parking spaces and walkways to the restrooms and water accessway; and the addition of riprap to shoreline to secure the eroding shoreline.
The program has awarded 497 grants totaling more than $53.8 million to improve public waterfront access sites since it began in 1981. For more information about the program, go to the Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access website.
The Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access program provides matching funds to local governments in the 20 coastal counties. Governments that receive grants must match them by contributing at least 25 percent toward the project’s cost.
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 N.C. Coastal Resources Commission.
# # #