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Land and water fund grants awarded to ENC game lands, communities and area military installations

Hudson River view.
Brian Mann
North Country Public Radio
File photo: Hudson River view.

The North Carolina Land and Water Fund awarded grants last week totaling more than $70 million.

The funds should help protect more than 27,000 acres, including nearly 21,000 acres for public hiking, hunting, boating, birding and recreational uses.

The projects, 37 of them, seek to restore or enhance about 36 miles of streams, rivers, lakes and estuaries and to restore over 8,000 acres of drained wetlands.

Conservation projects will benefit 55 endangered or threatened plants and animals and more than $35 million in grants help rural and economically distressed counties.

Across the state, more than 10,000 acres will be added to N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission game lands, including some in Pamlico County.

Funding will help with planning to address flooding issues in multiple areas, including Smithfield and Washington.

Fund grants will also provide buffers for military installations and training areas, awarding $5 and a half million dollars, to protect thousands of acres near Marine Corps Air Station New River, MCAS Cherry Point, U.S. Army Garrison Fort Bragg, Seymour Johnson Air Force Base, and Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune.

Kelly Batchelor hails from the small crossroads community of Cabin in Duplin County in eastern North Carolina. Since 1989 Kelly has been actively employed in radio.