State funds protected local land and waters

Published 1:31 am Wednesday, May 28, 2008

By Staff
Beaufort County received $12.6 million in 10 years from various trust funds
Staff Writer
Local land and water has been saved partly by state funds that have been given to Beaufort County.
Last year $28,000 was provided to the area for the removal of a septic system at the Autumnfield Assisted Living Center, according to a statement from the Conservation Trust for N.C.
The grant was used to prevent the seepage of untreated wastewater into the Pamlico River, more specifically Broad Creek, Pantego Creek and Pantego River.
The grant is one of many being given through the “Land for Tomorrow” program — a commitment to preserve and protect North Carolina’s land, water and historic places.
The goal is to increase public awareness of the need to protect additional lands that are critical to the economic well-being and quality of life in North Carolina.
In the past decade, Beaufort County has been given $12.6 million, according to a list of projects in the area. One-quarter of this was spent in Washington in 1999 to construct and preserve local wetlands and habitats.
Hyde County has received $9.8 million and Martin County netted about $850,000. These grants have been from four of the state’s trust funds including the Clean Water Management Trust Fund, Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund, Natural Heritage Trust Fund and the Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.
Where is all the money coming from?
In the 1980s and 1990s, the General Assembly created the trust funds to protect water quality, farms and wildlife, and to create and expand parks. They are funded through a combination of appropriations, personalized license plate revenue and portions of the deed transfer tax, according to the statement from CTNC.
Though some key conservation projects have gained support, the money has not been enough to keep up with the needs of the state, according to the CTNC.
Land for Tomorrow is asking the General Assembly to provide $200 million per year for five years to preserve and protect the state’s land and water resources before they are irreversibly lost, according to CTNC.