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Attorney General Josh Stein Announces More Than $685,000 in Environmental Grants for Eastern NC

For Immediate Release:
Thursday, December 1, 2022

Nazneen Ahmed (919) 716-0060

(RALEIGH) Attorney General Josh Stein today announced $685,327.21 in grants to preserve natural resources and ensure clean air and drinking water in eastern North Carolina through the Environmental Enhancement Grant (EEG) program. In 2022, Attorney General Stein is awarding $2.5 million in EEG grants to 23 recipients.

Grant recipients in eastern North Carolina are:

East Carolina University

East Carolina University will receive $175,001 to support environmentally sustainable animal agricultural practices in eastern North Carolina.

“Agriculture is our state’s most important industry,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “We want farming to thrive at the same time we promote practices that are good for our land. This study will help us do just that.”

“ECU, in collaboration with Butler Farms and Waterkeepers Carolina, is studying water quality downgradient of a concentrated animal feeding operation (CAFO) using a lagoon capping system and anaerobic digester,” said Guy Iverson, assistant professor of environmental health at ECU’s Department of Health Education and Promotion. “Funding from the Environmental Enhancement Grant (EEG) Program will be leveraged to build on a pilot project funded by the UNC Inter-institutional Planning Grant. Results from the pilot project indicated that the capping system was highly effective at mitigating airborne pollutants, but water quality data indicated that the CAFO could be a substantial source of nitrogen, especially nitrate. The work supported by the EEG Program will allow our team to study water quality benefits provided by an engineered practice. This practice, if successful, will improve water quality in the Cape Fear River Basin and may also serve as a model for other CAFOs seeking to mitigate their environmental impact. Results from this project can help build capacity towards developing sustainable animal waste management practices, which is vitally important for Eastern North Carolina.”

Croatan Institute

Croatan Institute will receive $49,517.46 to support farmers of color in Martin and Warren counties and strengthen soil health and water conservation practices.

“Our farmers are vital to our economy,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “This grant will support minority farmers in eastern North Carolina and help preserve our natural resources for future generations.”

“Advancing environmental justice and strengthening local food systems are two important priorities of Croatan Institute’s Racial Equity, Economics, Finance, and Sustainability (REEFS) initiative,” said Sharlene Brown, director of the initiative at the Croatan Institute. “We are grateful to be a recipient of the North Carolina Environmental Enhancement Grant and look forward to strengthening our partnerships with black and brown farmers and landowners.”

City of New Bern

The city of New Bern will receive $150,000 to study and create preliminary engineering plans to determine the best approach to restore the canal in a historically underserved neighborhood that has often been harmed by floods.

“I appreciate the city of New Bern’s efforts to repair infrastructure to improve water quality and people’s quality of life,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “I hope this grant will further their efforts to preserve their neighborhoods.”

“This grant came at the perfect time,” said Mayor Jeffrey Odham. “With the City’s adoption of its first Resiliency and Hazard Mitigation Plan earlier this year, we have work to do to improve our infrastructure, build capacity and increase resiliency. This grant will allow us to focus on long-term planning for the Duffyfield Canal, a drainageway that has been significantly impacted over the years by severe weather, hurricanes, debris and pollution. By restoring this canal, we can stabilize it, improve its functionality, and create a sustainable watershed for New Bern.”

The Conservation Fund

The Conservation Fund will receive $200,000 to acquire 5,610 acres and partner with the Marine Corps to protect 5,570 acres of floodplain and 54,000 linear feet of water along the Neuse River Basin.

“North Carolina’s natural resources and our military are two features that make our state great,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “This grant will preserve coastal wildlife and habitats, protect water quality, and support military training in eastern North Carolina.”

“The Long Bay project will demonstrate multiple benefits of conservation with a particular focus on preserving military readiness,” said Bill Holman, NC state director for The Conservation Fund. “This effort will help improve military training capacity, water quality, habitat for rare species, and the outdoor recreation economy of Carteret County. We are grateful to Attorney General Stein and the EEG Program as well as our partners at the NC Land & Water Fund and the Marine Corps for working towards this win-win solution with us.”

The Trust for Tomorrow

The Trust for Tomorrow will receive $110,808.75 to restore two acres of cropland to wetland, eradicate an invasive species, and create a pollinator habitat within the Lake Mattumuskeet/Alligator River watersheds.

“This grant will help foster a healthier environment along Lake Mattumuskeet,” said Attorney General Josh Stein. “The restoration will give the residents of Hyde County cleaner drinking water and allow more wildlife to thrive.”

“We are thrilled and so thankful to receive this support from the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office,” said April Temple, Executive Director of the Trust for Tomorrow.  “Funding from the Environmental Enhancement Grant Program will allow us to restore important landscape features, including emergent wetlands and adjacent pollinator habitat, on a high-priority project site located on the shores of Lake Mattamuskeet.  As North Carolina’s largest natural lake, restoring its health is critical not only to the residents of Hyde County and the vast array of wildlife that depend on this natural heritage wonder for their survival, but also will serve as an important demonstration project to address nature-based climate resiliency solutions in an area at the forefront of sea level rise.”

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 2022 grants, the Attorney General Office’s has awarded more than $41 million to more than 210 projects in the state.


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