State awards $20 million to coastal communities for storm damage repairs

Aerial image of beach nourishment progress in Avon captured on June 29, 2022. [Courtesy of Coastal Science & Engineering]

The N.C. Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Water Resources (DWR) is awarding nearly $20.1 million in grants to eight communities in coastal North Carolina for projects related to storm damage. The awards from the Coastal Storm Damage Mitigation Fund support beach nourishment, dune restoration, and other remediation projects.

“Coastal communities are facing more severe impacts from storms and flooding that require a greater investment in a resilient coastline,” said Governor Roy Cooper. “Working with local governments to invest in smart storm damage repairs will help combat the effects of climate change and ensure that North Carolina’s coast remains a beautiful place to live, work and visit.”

“Our coastal communities are on the frontlines of climate change and this funding will help provide solutions to protect their environmental resources and support a healthy coastal economy,” said DEQ Secretary Elizabeth S. Biser.

The following project proposals are approved for funding:

  • Pine Knoll Shores Sand Fencing $90,400.00
  • Topsail Beach Dune Planting Project $109,100.00
  • Town of Nags Head Dune Planting $300,000.00
  • Oak Island Beach Management Plan $965,000.00
  • North Dare County Multi-Town Beach Nourishment $1,000,000.00
  • Beach Renourishment to Protect NC Hwy. 12, Buxton, Dare County $1,557,607.00
  • Avon Village Beach Nourishment, Dare County $5,576,639.00
  • North Topsail Phase 4 & 5 Nourishment $10,500,000.00

The state budget approved in 2021 allocated $18 million to the Coastal Storm Damage Mitigation Fund for costs associated with beach nourishment, artificial dunes, and other projects to mitigate or remediate coastal storm damage to the ocean beaches and dune systems of the state. DWR also added unexpended grant funds that were returned to the state to fund this round of projects.

The Division invited the state’s coastal communities to apply for the available grants. All eight project applications received were awarded funding. Local governments will supply matching funds of $38,931,398 for the awarded projects.

Applications were scored on six criteria, including environmental benefits, social benefits, economic benefits, life of the project, financial resources and project efficiency. To learn more about the criteria used to select the recipients, please visit the fund guidelines.