Here's the press release:
FISHERIES DIRECTOR ANNOUNCES FUNDING FOR WATERFRONT ACCESS SITES
MOREHEAD CITY – N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries Director Louis Daniel today announced 13 sites selected for funding from the Waterfront Access and Marine Industry Fund.
The sites were selected to provide waterfront access to a variety of user groups, including commercial and recreational fishermen, pier fishermen, recreational boaters and marine industry. In addition, several sites are in strategic locations for important state research and habitat enhancement efforts.
“These projects represent what we were looking for when we sought proposals for multi-functional projects,” Daniel said. "They address many of the access issues identified in the 2007 Waterfront Access Study Committee Report."
Daniel said he believes DMF also met its goal of leveraging the $20 million WAMI Fund to draw other sources of financial support. The total cost of the projects exceeds $71 million.
The N.C. General Assembly approved the $20 million fund in 2007 in response to recommendations from the Waterfront Access Study Committee.
The study committee reported to the Joint Legislative Commission on Seafood and Aquaculture that rapid development along the coast has brought higher property values and taxes that have resulted in the loss of traditional maritime industries and public access. The General Assembly felt state intervention was needed to ensure existing and future waterfront-dependent uses and continued access to the state’s public trust waters.
The WAMI was created to acquire waterfront properties or develop facilities to provide, improve or develop public and commercial waterfront access. State Senate Pro-tem Marc Basnight led legislative support for the program.
"I am pleased that the Waterfront Access and Marine Industry Fund is now a reality,” Basnight said. “Our maritime heritage and the hard work of generations of watermen have meant so much to our economy and our people throughout our history. These funds will help our fishermen prosper and preserve our working waterfronts for generations to come."
Additionally, site reviews required the collaboration of several different DENR agencies, meeting goals of the N.C. Coastal Habitat Protection Plan and One North Carolina Naturally. Agencies involved in site reviews included the Division of Marine Fisheries, the Wildlife Resources Commission, the Division of Coastal Management, the Division of Parks and Recreation, the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, the Division of Water Resources and the Division of Water Quality.
“Conservation was a winner last year, with additional funding for parks, natural heritage, farmland preservation and this waterfront access initiative,” said Secretary Bill Ross of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources. “We are grateful to Gov. Easley and the General Assembly for their leadership on these initiatives so important to connecting people with the wonderful natural resources of North Carolina.
The sites and funding are distributed geographically across three coastal regions. Six, totaling $6.8 million are in the Northeast; four, totaling $6.3 million, are in the Central; and three, totaling $6.9 million, are in the Southeast.
Some of the funding decisions are pending state appraisals and successful price negotiations for property acquisition.
For more information, contact DMF Public Information Officer Patricia Smith at (252) 808-8025 or [email protected]
Here's the link to the final list
of the 13 projects selected to receive funding.