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Attorney General Josh Stein Announces $470,000 in 2021 Environmental Grants for Triad

For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today announced $470,000 in grants to preserve and enhance the environment in the Triad through the Environmental Enhancement Grant (EEG) program. Across the state, Attorney General Stein will award nearly $3 million in grants to 27 grantees.


Awards in the Triad area were awarded to:


North Carolina A&T State University 

North Carolina A&T State University will receive $133,000 to research how dissolved organic nutrition from landfills impacts the environment in eastern North Carolina water bodies and determine effective treatment strategies.

“With this grant, researchers at North Carolina A&T will be able to better understand how landfill runoff affects our water bodies so we can protect the quality of our water,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I’m pleased that this project fulfills the EEG’s environmental justice component and will help us find ways to address harms, all while fostering the next generation of Black scientists and researchers.”

“North Carolina A&T State University will receive the EEG grant to study the influence of anthropogenic dissolved organic nitrogen (DON) on eutrophic estuarine environment in eastern North Carolina and develop countermeasures to minimize the influence,” said Dr. Renzun Zhao, assistant professor of environmental engineering at NC A&T. “The research project is led by North Carolina A&T and in collaboration with University of North Carolina Chapel Hill’s Institute of Marine Sciences and North Carolina State University.”


Wake Forest University

Wake Forest University will receive $250,000 to develop a low-cost lake water quality monitoring system using drones and satellite data in conjunction with North Carolina Central and North Carolina A&T State Universities. The project will collect data on water quality in Forsyth, Davidson, and Rowan counties. The grant will also fund a public outreach and education effort to train community volunteers on water quality data collection and support the Girls as Citizen Scientists school community.

“We have to consistently monitor water quality to ensure that our water sources aren’t contaminated,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “This grant will help Wake Forest University do just that by working with community members and while encouraging the next generation of girls to explore careers in the sciences.”

“Yadkin Riverkeeper is excited to be a part of this collaborative project to expand the collection and analysis of data from High Rock Lake that will inform the development of an effective nutrient management strategy for the Yadkin Pee Dee River Basin,” said Yadkin Riverkeeper Edgar Miller. “The joint efforts of Wake Forest University, North Carolina Central University, and North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University will enhance the quality and reliability of water quality data by using satellite imagery to complement data collected from the lake. The design of the data portal will be co-developed with local stakeholders to ensure all interests are represented and will support the Yadkin Riverkeeper in expanding its community outreach programs, including youth environmental education programs.”


Southwest Renewal Foundation of High Point

The Southwest Renewal Foundation of High Point will receive $87,000 to help fund the creation of 2.15 acres of a public botanic garden at the headwaters of Richland Watershed in High Point.

“Areas of natural beauty are essential for our well-being,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “This grant will help build a public garden for an underserved community to visit and enjoy.”

“Piedmont to the Sea is an environmental enhancement project at the headwaters of Richland Watershed and the Cape Fear River basin in inner-city southwest High Point located in central (Piedmont) North Carolina,” said Dorothy Darr, executive director of the Southwest Renewal Foundation of High Point. “This project will create a 2.15-acre public garden on Richland Creek to teach the connectivity of North Carolina’s abundant waterways. Abundant water is one of our state’s most precious assets. Our foundation is based on the principle that clean and plentiful water is golden, symbolizing spirit, health, and prosperity for all life. We are so grateful and appreciative for this grant from the NC Department of Justice.”


About the Environmental Enhancement Grant Program

The Environmental Enhancement Grant program began after an agreement between the Attorney General’s Office and Smithfield Foods in 2000. Under that agreement, Smithfield provides $2 million to the state every year to be distributed among environmental projects across North Carolina. Including the 2021 grants, the Attorney General Office’s has awarded nearly $37 million to more than 190 projects in the state.

In 2021, Attorney General Stein has announced the following EEG grant in addition to the above:


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