AG Cooper announces $1.5 million in environmental grants
Release date: 9/17/2004
Raleigh: Attorney General Roy Cooper announced today that more than $1.5 million in grants will go to improve water quality, protect North Carolina rivers and help farmers clean up hog lagoons. The grants are part of a larger agreement reached in 2000 with Smithfield Foods, the world's largest pork producer.
“We must have clean water to keep our state healthy and to help our economy grow,” said Cooper. “These innovative projects will help ensure a better future for North Carolina’s waterways and its people.”
Projects were selected to receive grants based on the twin goals of the Smithfield Agreement, environmental enhancement and conversion of lagoons used to manage hog waste. Cooper specifically sought to award grants to projects that will benefit rivers and sounds in areas that have a high concentration of hog farms.
The North Carolina Foundation for Soil and Water Conservation Districts, headquartered in Raleigh, will receive a grant of $500,000 to continue its work to close inactive hog lagoons and to eliminate animal waste.
A grant of $413,000 will go to Ducks Unlimited for its Sound CARE program to restore 741 acres of wetlands at Fort Bragg in Cumberland and Hoke counties, the Roanoke River Wetlands Game Land in Martin County, and the Roanoke River National Wildlife Refuge in Bertie County.
The North Carolina Coastal Land Trust, based in Wilmington, and the Tar River Land Conservancy, based in Louisburg, have been awarded $250,000 to protect tributaries of the Pamlico Sound. Funds will be used to develop a plan to conserve forested buffers along the lower Tar River east of Greenville and to protect 187 acres along Hill Creek in Beaufort County.
A grant of $178,000 has been awarded to the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission for a project to demonstrate how buffers along farmland can improve water quality and increase wildlife. Results of the project will be shared with farmers and others through tours and training sessions.
Environmental Defense will receive $60,000 to complete a comprehensive strategy for restoring the Albemarle Sound watershed, including developing a way to measure conservation efforts in the area and a model to predict how the watershed will change over time.
An award of $57,000 will go to the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation of Washington, NC to provide long-term water quality monitoring for 30 sites in the upper and middle Tar River basin. The funds will also be used to train volunteers in Nash, Edgecombe and Pitt counties to sample water quality. The Foundation plans to provide reliable data to town and county leaders, the NC Division of Water Quality and others for use in environmental planning.
Cape Fear Resource Conservation and Development of Wilmington plans to use its grant of $25,000 to create a dry fertilizer made from hog and poultry waste and to evaluate the product’s potential.
NC Department of Justice � 9001 Mail Service Center Raleigh, NC 27699-9001 � (919) 716-6400
A grant of $25,000 will help the Environmental Education Fund train at least 50 high school teachers to use a new North Carolina-specific environmental science curriculum in their classes. The “It’s Our Water” course of study is designed to meet the earth/environmental science graduation requirement for high school students.
These grants are the third in a series to be awarded to environmental programs under an agreement with Smithfield Foods, Inc. According to the agreement signed on July 25, 2000, Smithfield agreed to provide $50 million over 25 years to improve the environment. Another $15 million was provided to North Carolina State University to fund development of new technologies for processing and treatment of waste.
“I’m proud to see people in our state working to undo past damage to our water and land and to come up with cleaner technologies for the future,” said Cooper. “We need to continue looking for new ways to protect our environment that can also create economic opportunity.”