Carolinas' waterways get $1.2 million boost from Duke Energy

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  • Grants to support 16 projects spanning 46 counties across North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia

  • Investment is part of Duke Energy's $10 million multiyear commitment to protect and improve the environment

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Sixteen organizations spanning 46 counties in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia will receive more than $1.2 million in new grants from Duke Energy's Water Resources Fund to support environmental and wildlife programs.

The fund is a $10 million multiyear commitment from Duke Energy to help local organizations continue to protect and improve the environment, including waterways used year-round across the Carolinas and neighboring states. To date, the fund has invested $8.5 million to support 102 projects to protect natural resources, including more than $1.5 million in the Dan River Basin.

"Our region is home to some of the nation's most beautiful and treasured waterways," said David Fountain, Duke Energy's North Carolina president. "Our commitment to improve these water resources runs as deep as the waterways we seek to protect."

"Public access will be provided – in increased measure – to the waterways surrounding Gallants Channel in Carteret County and the Town of Beaufort with over 3,000 square feet of floating docks and marina facilities, raising citizen awareness of the value of our state's rich maritime history and culture," said Jerri Sutton, president of Maritime Heritage Foundation of Beaufort, North Carolina Inc. "Marina facilities and floating docks will literally put visitors to Gallants Channel on the coastal waters of North Carolina." 

"From conserving lands with abundant water resources to providing access to boats and kayaks and everything in between, the projects we're supporting will benefit generations to come," said Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Duke Energy's South Carolina president. "We're proud to support the 16 organizations whose vision and innovation will protect and improve our waterways."

"The Duke Energy Water Resources Fund grant will enable the county to restore passage in four priority areas along Lynches River by clearing debris that has become a hindrance for users," said Florence County Administrator K.G. Rusty Smith Jr. "This will improve commerce along the route and enable the county to attain its goal of providing access for canoes and kayaks along this beautiful, scenic river. We are extremely appreciative of the partnership that we enjoy with Duke Energy and the award of this grant."

Grants are selected by an independent panel with diverse environmental expertise. The panel includes five external members and two Duke Energy representatives. View an interactive map showcasing all 102 grantees at

Additional details on the grants follow:

North Carolina

  • Catawba County Historical Association (NC) Lyle Creek at Bunker Hill Covered Bridge – $100,000 to acquire and permanently protect a 27.5-acre tract of land along a degraded section of Lyle Creek, which feeds into Lake Norman.
  • Conservation Trust for North Carolina (NC) Wildacres Conservation Easement – $34,779 to help secure a 1,076-acre conservation easement permanently safeguarding wildlife habitat and water quality on Wildacres Retreat.
  • Dan River Basin Association (DRBA) (NC and VA) Get Dirty with DRBA – $16,460 to organize 300 volunteers in river cleanups across the Dan River Basin.
  • Eden Downtown Development Inc. (NC) Eden River Access Points – $100,000 to replace the Draper Landing and establish a new Klyce Street Landing access point in the City of Eden.
  • Mainspring Conservation Trust Inc. (NC) Dills-Cartoogechaye Creek Restoration – $100,000  to restore 1,200 feet of streambank and provide educational signage along Cartoogechaye Creek to increase water quality, benefit rare aquatic species and provide public education.
  • Marbles Kids Museum (NC) River Play-way – $99,500 to develop a playful river-themed exhibit using hands-on learning to spark curiosity in and care for the Neuse River.
  • Maritime Heritage Foundation of Beaufort, North Carolina Inc. (NC) Gallants Channel: Water Access for Educational Programs, North Carolina Maritime Museum Beaufort – $100,000 to develop a new marina and floating docks at Gallants Channel.
  • Tennessee Tech University (NC) Didymo Research Project – $31,508 to conduct research on Didymo colonization and mat formation, and to better define the conditions that lead to blooms in North Carolina streams.
  • The Conservation Fund (NC) Deep River Conservation Corridor – $100,000 to purchase 15 acres of property in Chatham County as part of expanding the Deep River State Trail and the Jordan Lake State Recreation Area. The area is a critical habitat for the Cape Fear shiner.
  • The Parks Conservancy of New Hanover County (NC) Pages Creek Parks Preserve Kayak Launch and Storage – $17,000 to build a kayak launch and storage at the first and only public access point on Pages Creek.
  • Town of North Wilkesboro (NC) Memorial Park to Mulberry Fields Greenway Connection Project – $48,000 to restore a riparian buffer and provide educational signage along a greenway connection between the Memorial Park Trailhead and the Mulberry Fields section. The greenway lies along the Yadkin River.

South Carolina

  • City of Manning (SC) Pocotaligo Nature Walk and Trail – $100,000 to renovate and expand a popular boardwalk through the Pocotaligo Swamp known as the Pocotaligo River Walk and Trail, and to bring the boardwalk up to ADA standards. 
  • Florence County (SC) Lynches River Boat and Kayak Project – $68,200 for river cleanup at four priority areas along the Lynches River to improve access for boaters and kayakers.
  • Friends of the Reedy River (SC) Cleveland Park Stables$100,000 to convert 2.5 acres along the Reedy River into a passive public park. Invasive plants will be removed and replaced with native vegetation, and educational signage will share the project's connection to improving water quality.
  • Lindsay Pettus Greenway (SC) Gills Creek Nature Pavilion, Trail and Observation Piers – $100,000 to construct a trail and pier overlooks to provide recreational trail users access to Gills Creek in Lancaster, S.C.  
  • Town of Cheraw (SC) Cheraw Erosion and Handicap Fishing Deck Project – $100,000 to provide three ADA-compliant fishing platforms at the Town of Cheraw's Riverside Park on the Pee Dee River.

About Duke Energy Foundation
The Duke Energy Foundation provides philanthropic support to address the needs of communities where its customers live and work. The Foundation contributes more than $33 million annually in charitable gifts.

The Foundation's education focus spans kindergarten to career – particularly science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) – as well as early childhood literacy and workforce development. The Foundation also supports environmental projects and community impact initiatives, including arts and culture.

Duke Energy employees and retirees actively contribute to their communities as volunteers and leaders with a wide variety of nonprofit organizations. Duke Energy is committed to building on its legacy of community service. For more information, visit

The Duke Energy Foundation is part of Duke Energy (NYSE: DUK).

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the U.S., with approximately 29,000 employees and a generating capacity of 49,500 megawatts. The company is transforming its customers' experience, modernizing its energy grid, generating cleaner energy and expanding its natural gas infrastructure to create a smarter energy future for the people and communities it serves.

A Fortune 125 company, Duke Energy was named to Fortune's 2018 "World's Most Admired Companies" list and Forbes' 2018 "America's Best Employers" list.

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