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Eight coastal communities receive grants to tackle shoreline erosion and climate change

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(Photo: Public Radio East)
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More than $20 million from the state Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources is being awarded to eight coastal communities in North Carolina to protect beaches from storm damage.

Gov. Roy Cooper said the money is intended to, “help combat the effects of climate change and ensure that North Carolina's coast remains a beautiful place to live, work and visit."

Beach nourishment —dredging up sand from the ocean, pumping it onto the beach, and spreading it out with heavy machinery — has been used for many years to address shoreline erosion.

  • Pine Knoll Shores received about $90,000 dollars to install sand fencing
  • A more than $100,000 dune planting project in Topsail Beach was funded by the grant
  • More than $7 million is being used for beach nourishment projects in Dare County
  • The Oak Island Beach Management Plan in southeastern North Carolina will receive just under $1 million
  • North Topsail beach will complete phases four and five of their beach nourishment project with a more-than $10 million grant

According to the DEQ, the state budget approved in 2021 set aside $18 million to the Coastal Storm Damage Mitigation Fund for the construction and maintenance of beaches, artificial dunes, and other projects to mitigate coastal storm damage to the coastline and dune systems.

Annette is originally a Midwest gal, born and raised in Michigan, but with career stops in many surrounding states, the Pacific Northwest, and various parts of the southeast. She has been involved in the media industry in eastern North Carolina for more than three years. An award-winning journalist and mother of four, Annette moved to ENC to be closer to family – in particular, her two young grandchildren. It’s possible that a -27 day with a -68 windchill in Minnesota may have also played a role in that decision. In her spare time, Annette does a lot of toddler and baby cuddling, reading, designing costumes for children’s theater and producing the coolest Halloween costumes anyone has ever seen. She has also worked as a diversity and inclusion facilitator serving school districts and large corporations. It’s the people that make this beautiful area special, and she wants to share those stories that touch the hearts of others. If you have a story idea to share, please reach out by email to westona@cravencc.edu.