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Grants to North Carolina Agencies in Eligible Counties for Capital Projects in Coastal Areas

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Geographic Focus

USA: North Carolina: The 20 coastal counties

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Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access Fund

North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) - Division of Coastal Management (DCM)

Agency: State

GrantWatch ID #137942

Grant Description

Previous Page Version

Grants to North Carolina government agencies for capital projects to improve recreational areas in coastal counties. Applicants must submit a pre-application prior to submission of a full application. The purpose of grant funding is to increase access to public beaches and water resources in the 20 coastal counties.

Overview: The primary objective of the public access grant program is to provide pedestrian access to public beaches and public trust waters in the 20 coastal counties. Grant funds may be used for land acquisition (including “unbuildable” lots) and site improvement projects that are consistent with the state guidelines for public access in the coastal area (15A NCAC 7M .0300). Any facility constructed with these grant funds must meet state and federal guidelines for handicap accessibility.

Examples of eligible projects include the following:

  • Land acquisition - purchase of land for future public access facilities.
  • Land easement acquisition - purchase of easements for public access.
  • Parking areas, restrooms and other facilities.
  • Urban waterfront access sites - improved public access to deteriorating or underutilized urban waterfronts through reconstruction or rehabilitation.
  • Reconstruction or relocation of existing damaged public access facilities. Primarily for sites not originally funded by this program or for improvements to any sites at least fifteen (15) years old.
  • Handicap facilities - Local governments are encouraged to submit proposals designed to enhance handicap accessibility existing facilities.
  • Boat Launch facilities- boat launch and ramp facilities, whether motorized or not, may be part of a project provided pedestrian access is still a major component of the project.
  • For Tier 1 communities, routine maintenance of sites previously funded under the program.

Priority will be given to land acquisition projects; projects whose site design exceeds ADA requirements; and projects whose site design incorporates resiliency via nature-based features. Pedestrian access must be a major component of a project, with nature-based features being used to support, protect and enhance access improvements.

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Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants: The 20 coastal counties and municipalities therein that have public trust waters (ocean, estuarine or riverine waters) within their jurisdictions.

Pre-Application Information:

Process: The application process has three (3) steps: the pre-application, invitation to submit a Final Application, and grant contract approval.

Your local DCM District Planner must receive pre-applications on or before 5:00 pm on Friday, April 22, 2022.

Final Applications are anticipated to be due on or before 5:00 pm on September 19, 2022.

Pre-application Due: April 22, 2022
Final Application Due: September 19, 2022
Final Applicant Notified of Funding: October/November 2022
Contracts Start: January/February 2023

Match: Local government matching contributions for acquisition must be at least 15% of the total project cost. For Tier 1 counties and their municipalities, the match for acquisition is at least 10%. Grants for improvements to existing sites must be at least 25% however, for Tier 1 counties and their municipalities; the match is 10%.

Access grants are paid as reimbursements of actual expenses.

Additional Funding Information:

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Estimated Size of Grant:

Maximum Request: There is no limit on maximum request. However due to the limited funds available, applicants need to be mindful that larger requests may be difficult to accommodate.

Term of Contract:

Local governments are invited to apply for funding for projects that are anticipated to begin after January 2023 and to be completed within eighteen (18) months.

Contact Information:

For questions, contact your District Planner:

Local governments located in Bertie, Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hertford, Tyrell, Pasquotank, Perquimans, and Washington counties should contact:
Charlan Owens, AICP, District Planner
Division of Coastal Management
401 South Griffin Street, Suite 300, Elizabeth City, N.C. 27909
(252) 264-3901

Local governments located in Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Hyde, and Pamlico counties should contact:
Rachel Love-Adrick, District Planner
Division of Coastal Management
400 Commerce Ave. Morehead City, NC 28557
(252) 808-2808

Local governments located in Pender, Onslow, New Hanover, and Brunswick counties should contact:
Mike Christenbury, District Planner
Division of Coastal Management
127 Cardinal Drive Extension, Wilmington, N.C. 28405-3845
(910) 796-7475

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