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Attorney General announces environmental grants for southeastern N.C. counties

Updated: Oct. 27, 2020 at 2:15 PM EDT
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WILMINGTON, N.C. (WECT) - Attorney General Josh Stein has announced $542,021 in environmental grants for Bladen, New Hanover, Pender, and Robeson counties through the Environmental Enhancement Grant (EEG) program.

The grants include:

Bladen County

The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will receive $250,000 to “educate commercial agricultural producers about and implement conservation farming techniques,” including field buffers, native plantings, prescribed burns, and the restoration of longleaf pine savannas.

“The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission will use these funds to do important work with commercial farmers,” said Stein. “As a result, habitats will be preserved and conservation efforts in our state will be strengthened.”

“The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission is honored to have received a 2020 Environmental Enhancement Grant to support the Corporate CURE (Cooperative Upland habitat Restoration and Enhancement) Program,” said Benjy Strope, CURE/SEFA management biologist. “Funding will allow us to maintain and develop early successional habitat on lands owned by commercial agricultural producers. This management benefits water quality and numerous game and non-game species, particularly those of greatest conservation need.”

Bladen, New Hanover, and Pender Counties

N.C. State University will receive $242,021 to identify and study PFAS in swine sludge to determine the risk to fields in the Cape Fear Watershed.

“I am extremely concerned about the impacts of forever chemicals like PFAS in our environment,” Stein said. “I am pleased to award these funds to further research into all of the impacts PFAS are having on our environment. Until we know all the consequences of these chemicals, we will be unable to fully clean up the mess.”

Brunswick County

The Baptist State Convention of North Carolina will receive $50,000 to restore living shoreline at Fort Caswell. Officials say this will improve and stabilize oyster reefs and replant marshes.

“Fort Caswell sits on some of North Carolina’s most beautiful coastline – and the economic activity it brings is a boon to the area,” said Stein. “I am pleased to provide these funds to protect and preserve our state’s valuable natural resources.”

Robeson County

Lumberton will receive $250,000 to purchase and rehabilitate the Scottish Meatpacking property, including removing 9,600 square feet of impervious surface, installing a boat ramp, and stabilizing the shoreline.

“This exciting project is a shot in the arm to Lumberton, which has suffered as a result of recent Hurricanes Matthew and Florence,” Stein said. “I am excited to see how improving this site fosters community engagement, activity, and education.”

“I would like to extend my sincere appreciation to Attorney General Stein for the Environmental Enhancement Grant award of $250,000 to the City of Lumberton,” said Mayor Bruce W. Davis. “These generous funds will no doubt facilitate continued recovery in South Lumberton following Hurricanes Matthew and Florence, by helping to create a scenic area for community gathering, environmental education, and enhanced access to the Lumber River.”

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