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Attorney General Josh Stein Announces More than $420,000 in Environmental Grants in Southeastern North Carolina

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, October 26, 2023

Contact:
Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein announced $428,875 in three Environmental Enhancement Grants (EEGs) to protect North Carolina’s air, water, and natural resources in southeastern North Carolina. In 2023, Attorney General Stein is awarding $2.3 million in EEGs to 18 recipients throughout North Carolina.

The Conservation Fund

The Conservation Fund will receive $150,000 to protect 3,530 acres along the Lumber River, which will become a part of the Lumber River State Park.

“Preserving this land helps us to protect water quality in southeastern North Carolina,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “That means folks will be safer and healthier. We’re also helping ensure that future generations can enjoy the beauty of their surroundings.”

“The Lumber River State Park is a gem in Southeastern North Carolina,” said Guenevere Abernathy, The Conservation Fund’s NC State Director. “It provides many public benefits, including outdoor recreation, wildlife conservation, economic development, and flood storage. The Conservation Fund thanks Attorney General Josh Stein for providing an EEG grant to help us expand the state park and increase public access in Robeson County.”

North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission will receive $250,000 to purchase about 441 acres to protect critical habitats for species that need conservation. The land will also expand public hunting and recreation areas.

“This grant will help protect habitats for some of North Carolina’s most at-risk wildlife,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “We must work to protect our environment for the animals, plants, and people who will call it home in the decades to come.”

Catawba College

Catawba College will receive $28,875 to identify, study, and map feral swine populations across central and southeastern North Carolina. The college will partner with the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Resources and the North Carolina Feral Swine Task Force to find solutions to mitigate the environmental harms of feral swine.

“Wild boars damage our environments, pollute our water, and threaten our farms,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “This grant will help us better understand the challenges we face and how to effectively solve the many issues that stem from this feral population.”

“Feral swine are an increasing threat to North Carolina’s environment and economy. Mitigating their impact is an initiative that reaches “across the aisle,” advancing the health and well-being of ecosystems and agribusiness in our State,” said Professor Luke Dollar, Chairman of the Environment and Sustainability Department of Catawba College. “The Attorney General’s Environmental Enhancement Grant support of our efforts will greatly advance our ability to collaboratively address this growing hazard. We are grateful for this generous funding.”

About the Environmental Enhancement Grant Program

The North Carolina Department of Justice’s Environmental Enhancement Grant program began after a 2000 agreement between the Attorney General’s Office and Smithfield Foods. Under that agreement, Smithfield provides $2 million to the state every year to be distributed among environmental projects across North Carolina. Including the 2023 grants, the Attorney General’s office has awarded nearly $43 million to more than 228 projects in the state. More information is available at https://ncdoj.gov/protecting-the-environment/eeg/.

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