Duke Energy protects Carolinas' waterways with $800,000 in grants

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  • Grants to support 11 projects spanning 58 counties across North Carolina and South Carolina

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

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Eleven organizations spanning 58 counties in North Carolina and South Carolina will receive more than $800,000 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 more than $9 million to support 113 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 Stephen De May, Duke Energy's North Carolina president. "We are proud to support the water stewards in our communities who are implementing innovative projects that protect our natural resources."

"Water is life. The Great Coharie River Initiative is committed to be responsible stewards of our many waterways here in Sampson County," said Greg Jacobs, tribal administrator for Coharie Intra-Tribal Council, Inc. "We desire that our present and future generations be afforded the same quality of life as our ancestors enjoyed in the Great Outdoors. We understand that our Rivers have always provided healing medicine for all who will partake."

"Water is a shared natural resource that connects us all," said Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Duke Energy's South Carolina president. "These grants are supporting projects that will benefit our communities now and for many years to come."

"We are grateful for Duke Energy's leadership in and commitment to keeping Carolina waterways clean through their Water Resources Fund," says Mark Robertson, state director for The Nature Conservancy in South Carolina. "This grant will help us make critical improvements to Vaughn's Creek in our Blue Wall Preserve, which provides clean, clear drinking water to Landrum, S.C."

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 113 grantees at duke-energy.com/H2O.

Additional details on the grants follow:

North Carolina

Coharie Intra-Tribal Council Inc. (NC) The Great Coharie River Initiative – $82,150 to restore environmental, educational and cultural significance to Native American communities by enriching water quality and public access.

North Carolina Coastal Land Trust (NC) Salter's Creek Landing Project – $100,000 to purchase 5,500 acres of ecologically significant land, including 11 miles of "Down East" scenic waterfront for recreation.

North Carolina State University (NC) Ecosystem Services Provided by Freshwater Mussels: Impacts on Water Quality and Public Awareness – $70,408 to quantify mussels' pollutant removal and educate the public about conservation issues.

The Nature Conservancy, North Carolina Chapter (NC) Evans Easement Project on the Black River – $100,000 to purchase a conservation easement over 89 acres of floodplain forest and riparian buffer along the Black River.

Town of Mesic (NC) Town of Mesic Public Water Access Project – $50,000 to provide picnic and fishing areas, kayak/watercraft launching infrastructure and space for community gatherings along Vandemere Creek. 

University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (NC) New River Estuary Oyster Highway – $100,000 to increase the oyster population and enhance habitat and water quality-related services in the New River Estuary.

Wilmington Children's Museum, Inc (NC) Explore Water – It's Quality, Quantity, and Conservation – $19,000 for a water table exhibit, educating visitors about the water cycle and importance of treating and reclaiming water.

Yadkin-Pee Dee Water Management Group (NC) Dills – Yadkin-Pee Dee River Basin Long-Term Water Resources Planning – $100,000 to support developing the river basin's Long-Range Water Supply Master Plan.

South Carolina

Catawba-Wateree Water Management Group (SC and NC) – Basin-wide Water Loss Management Program – $100,000 to implement best-management practices for water loss control among CWWMG's 19 distribution systems.

The Nature Conservancy of South Carolina (SC) Improving Water Quality at Blue Wall Preserve $35,000 for abatement of water quality threats to Vaughn's Creek, Landrum City's primary drinking water source.

Tyger Watershed & Quality of Life Fund #2019 (SC) Tyger Blueways Coalition Project 5: ADA Docks at Lake Cooley & Tygerberry Landing – $65,000 for two ADA accessible docks so all people can access the water, participate in environmental education and paddling programs.

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 $30 million annually in charitable gifts. More information about the Duke Energy Foundation and its Powerful Communities program can be found at duke-energy.com/foundation.

The Duke Energy Foundation is solely funded by Duke Energy Corporation (NYSE: DUK) shareholder dollars.

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.

More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com. The Duke Energy News Center includes news releases, fact sheets, photos, videos and other materials. Duke Energy's illumination features stories about people, innovations, community topics and environmental issues. Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

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