Duke Energy on Thursday announced more than $1.2 million in new grants to support environmental and wildlife programs in the Carolinas and Virginia. The grants are from the company’s $10 million Water Resources Fund.
Since its inception in 2014, the fund has awarded $8.5 million dollars to support 102 projects. That includes more than $1.5 million dollars to protect natural resources in the Dan River Basin, where an estimated 39,000 tons of coal ash spilled from a Duke Energy site into the river in February 2014.
A spokeswoman said the latest round of grants includes money to fulfill $1.5 million commitment to projects near Dan River that Duke made in 2014.
The money is going to land conservation, stream restorations, river cleanups, boat docks and other water access projects. Here's a list provided by Duke:
- Catawba County Historical Association (NC) Lyle Creek at Bunker Hill Covered Bridge – $100,000 to acquire and permanently protect a 27.5-acre tract of land along a degraded section of Lyle Creek, which feeds into Lake Norman.
- Conservation Trust for North Carolina (NC) Wildacres Conservation Easement – $34,779 to help secure a 1,076-acre conservation easement permanently safeguarding wildlife habitat and water quality on Wildacres Retreat.
- Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) (NC and VA) Get Dirty with DRBA – $16,460 to organize 300 volunteers in river cleanups across the Dan River Basin.
- Eden Downtown Development Inc. (NC) Eden River Access Points – $100,000 to replace the Draper Landing and establish a new Klyce Street Landing access point in the City of Eden.
- Mainspring Conservation Trust Inc. (NC) Dills-Cartoogechaye Creek Restoration – $100,000 to restore 1,200 feet of streambank and provide educational signage along Cartoogechaye Creek to increase water quality, benefit rare aquatic species and provide public education.
- Marbles Kids Museum (NC) River Play-way – $99,500 to develop a playful river-themed exhibit using hands-on learning to spark curiosity in and care for the Neuse River.
- Maritime Heritage Foundation of Beaufort, North Carolina Inc. (NC) Gallants Channel: Water Access for Educational Programs, North Carolina Maritime Museum Beaufort – $100,000 to develop a new marina and floating docks at Gallants Channel.
- Tennessee Tech University (NC) Didymo Research Project – $31,508 to conduct research on Didymo colonization and mat formation, and to better define the conditions that lead to blooms in North Carolina streams.
- The Conservation Fund (NC) Deep River Conservation Corridor – $100,000 to purchase 15 acres of property in Chatham County as part of expanding the Deep River State Trail and the Jordan Lake State Recreation Area. The area is a critical habitat for the Cape Fear shiner.
- The Parks Conservancy of New Hanover County (NC) Pages Creek Parks Preserve Kayak Launch and Storage – $17,000 to build a kayak launch and storage at the first and only public access point on Pages Creek.
- Town of North Wilkesboro (NC) Memorial Park to Mulberry Fields Greenway Connection Project – $48,000 to restore a riparian buffer and provide educational signage along a greenway connection between the Memorial Park Trailhead and the Mulberry Fields section. The greenway lies along the Yadkin River.
- City of Manning (SC) Pocotaligo Nature Walk and Trail – $100,000 to renovate and expand a popular boardwalk through the Pocotaligo Swamp known as the Pocotaligo River Walk and Trail, and to bring the boardwalk up to ADA standards.
- Florence County (SC) Lynches River Boat and Kayak Project – $68,200 for river cleanup at four priority areas along the Lynches River to improve access for boaters and kayakers.
- Friends of the Reedy River (SC) Cleveland Park Stables – $100,000 to convert 2.5 acres along the Reedy River into a passive public park. Invasive plants will be removed and replaced with native vegetation, and educational signage will share the project’s connection to improving water quality.
- Lindsay Pettus Greenway (SC) Gills Creek Nature Pavilion, Trail and Observation Piers – $100,000 to construct a trail and pier overlooks to provide recreational trail users access to Gills Creek in Lancaster, S.C.
- Town of Cheraw (SC) Cheraw Erosion and Handicap Fishing Deck Project – $100,000 to provide three ADA-compliant fishing platforms at the Town of Cheraw's Riverside Park on the Pee Dee River.