More than $1 million will go to 11 local governments and the North Carolina Coastal Reserve to improve public access to coastal beaches and waters.

The state Division of Coastal Management awarded the funding for the 2020-21 fiscal year.

“Each year these grants fund key projects that allow safe access and improved experiences for our residents and visitors along the coastal waterways,” said Michael S. Regan, Secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality. “Now more than ever, this funding is an important way to support our local governments and our coastal economy.”

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% toward the project’s cost.

The division awarded grants to the following:

  • Belville received $191,550 for the installation a new, nonmotorized boat launch and replacement of the existing, damaged motorized boat ramp dock at Brunswick Riverwalk Park.                        
  • Bertie County received $146,772 for the Bertie Tall Glass of Water (TGOW) Project Phase I for installation of ADA-accessible solar powered restrooms, paved parking and walkway, a beach access ramp and 200 feet of beach mats to access a sand beach on the Chowan River.                       
  • Caswell Beach received $44,600 for the Regional Access Handicapped Rebuild project to rebuild and upgrade the only handicapped access point at the town regional access site.                        
  • Craven County received $88,500 for repairs to an existing pier along Brice Creek at Creekside Park. New amenities include a floating dock that the existing kayak launch will be attached, and two fishing platforms.                   
  • Holly Ridge received $80,712 for Morris Landing restrooms, an environmentally friendly, self-composting restroom as part of the Morris Landing Access site to the Intracoastal Waterway.
  • Kill Devil Hills received $89,769 for Moore Shores estuarine access, including the installation of parking, a walkway and a pier with a gazebo and canoe/kayak launch on Kitty Hawk Bay.                         
  • Morehead City received $33,750 for the kayak launch at S. 10th Street for installation of an ADA kayak launch at an existing access site that provides access to Harbor Channel and Bogue Sound.                       
  • Murfreesboro received $170,000 for the Murfree’s Landing Phase II project for installation of a canoe/kayak launch, riprap revetment, parking, and lighting at Murfree’s Landing (formerly King’s Landing) along the Meherrin River.
  • North Carolina Coastal Reserve received $122,329 for Currituck Banks Reserve boardwalk for the replacement of boardwalk decking and structural joists and pilings needed for an access that ends at a viewpoint along the Currituck Sound.
  • Ocean Isle Beach received $27,463 to rebuild the existing Chadburn Street beach access.
  • Pasquotank County received $89,925 for the Pasquotank River Public Access Improvement Phase IV project for the replacement of boardwalk decking, and handrails, piles and stringers along the Pasquotank River and a connecting canal.
  • Swansboro received $142,350 for the extension of the Bicentennial Park boardwalk and the addition of four public day docks adjacent to historic downtown Swansboro.


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.

The grant program has provided more than $48 million for 461 public waterfront access sites since the program began in 1981. For more information about the program, go to the Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access program’s website.

The post M to Go to Improve Public Water Access first appeared on Coastal Review Online.

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