Grants totaling $14.6 million will fund 39 projects to protect North Carolina’s land and water from the mountains to the coast have been awarded by the State. The North Carolina Land and Water Fund, formerly known as the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, awarded the grants.
“North Carolina is blessed with natural beauty and resources that we all share a duty to protect,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “These grants will fund key projects to safeguard our land and water, provide more opportunities for outdoor recreation, and support our military and economy.”
The funds will protect 6,710 acres including more than 6,155 acres that will be open to the public for hiking, hunting, boating, birding and other recreational uses. Funds were also granted for eight projects to restore or enhance over 10 miles of streams, rivers and estuaries.
$1.2 million was awarded to the Triangle Land Conservancy (TLC) for the Brogden Lowgrounds preservation, a 1,000+ acre tract located in the Brogden area with two miles of frontage on the Neuse River.
“The grant from the Land and Water Fund will be instrumental in the conservation of this critical tract of land along the Neuse River in the Lowgrounds,” said Director of Land Conservation Leigh Ann Hammerbacher. “While we don’t have any set plans for the area yet, we are excited that we were able to conserve such a large tract of land in Johnston County. The property’s floodplain helps prevent downstream flooding and filters impurities from stormwater runoff, which is important for our region’s resiliency.”
“We are excited the land has been protected. The TLC purchased the property in advance because we were worried about the long-term preservation,” said Leigh Ann Hammerbacher, TLC Director of Land Protection and Stewardship.
The $1.2 million grant covers about half the cost of the property. Citizens who would like to help can donate to the Triangle Land Conservancy and earmark funds for the Brogden project.
In the short term, Hammerbacher said the TLC will offer guided tours of the property once COVID passes. Long term plans are for public access to the tract.
About the North Carolina Land and Water Fund
The North Carolina Land and Water Fund, until recently known as the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, was established in 1996 to protect the state’s drinking water sources. Today, with more than $39 million in active contracts, the fund is additionally tasked by the North Carolina General Assembly with conserving and protecting the state’s natural resources, cultural heritage and military installations.
At a meeting of the fund’s board, the state’s Clean Water Management Trust Fund was officially renamed the North Carolina Land and Water Fund. In 2019 the General Assembly voted to rename the fund because over the years its mission has expanded beyond its original focus on just water quality. Since its creation in 1996 by the General Assembly, the newly renamed North Carolina Land and Water Fund has conserved well over one-half million acres and protected or restored 3,000 miles of streams and rivers.