If “what’s in it for me” is among your thoughts when grant-funded projects are announced, you might be interested in the latest round of Coastal Recreational Fishing License grants.
Money from license sales funds projects that directly or indirectly benefit recreational fishing, said Wayne Johannessen, the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ grants coordinator for the program.
Fifteen N.C. Marine Resources Fund grants totaling $1,794,208 were recently approved by the N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission for 2016-17.
“Several of the projects are enhancing artificial reefs, which will help recreational fishing,” Johannessen said, including a $185,000 grant to the Eastern Carolina Artificial Reef Association to use sunken vessels to create artificial reefs in Northern Onslow Bay.
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“We continue to work with the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission as they’re upgrading facilities,” he said, noting the town of Oak Island will build a regional fishing pier and kayak launch with a $69,955 grant.
Six grants, totaling $983,505, in the People focus area include the Onslow Bay and Oak Island projects along with updating the N.C. Coastal Recreational Anglers Guide, reconstructing the Wildlife Commission’s West Onslow Bay boating access area and supporting the Long Bay Artificial Reef Association’s enhancement of near-shore artificial reef (AR-430) off Brunswick County.
The sixth People grant provides $11,800 the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries to continue funding the Marine Patrol Education Team.
“The Marine Patrol, those guys have done a great job,” Johannessen said. “They go to public events, boat shows, educational events, seafood festivals. The public outreach and public response have been great.”
Five grants, totaling $277,967, in the Fish focus area will support research, management and technology, and four grants in the Habitat Focus area total $532,736 and will include aquatic vegetation management, oyster reef development and other research.
Reef meeting: The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries’ Artificial Reef Program will conduct a public meeting at 6 p.m. Feb. 8 at the Dare County Administrative Building in Manteo.
The topic will be enhancement plans for four artificial reefs near Oregon Inlet: AR-130, AR-140, AR-145 and AR-160 (Oregon Inlet Reef). The N.C. Department of Transportation will provide material from the demolition of the Bonner Bridge starting in the spring of 2018.
Call 252-808-8063, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Deadline: Nominations are due by Jan. 29 for the 11th Thomas L. Quay Wildlife Diversity Award recognizing a leader in nongame wildlife conservation in North Carolina.
Find a form on the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission website at www.ncwildlife.org in the scrolling bar at the bottom of the page.
Turkey fundraiser: The Pender County Longbeards Chapter of the National Wild Turkey Federation will hold a Hunting Heritage banquet on Feb. 6 at New Hanover County Law Enforcement Center in Castle Hayne. Doors open at 6 p.m. Individual tickets cost $60. Go to https://events.nwtf.org/330881-2016/tickets.
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