NCBIWA 2021-2022 State Legislative Goals
NCBIWA advocates for funding to protect, restore and maintain North Carolina’s coastline. Making our coast and its beaches more resilient by protecting our natural infrastructure requires funding on both the state and federal levels. As federal funding for beach renourishment, coastal resilience and shallow draft inlet maintenance is uncertain, it is incumbent on the state to become more involved with funding to protect our coast.
During the 2021 Legislative session, NCBIWA advocated to:
Protect the Shallow Draft Navigation Channel Dredging and Aquatic Weed Fund
Provide funding for the Coastal Storm Damage Mitigation Fund
Create a recurring funding source for the Coastal Storm Damage Mitigation Fund
Fund water and sewer projects along the coast
Fund the development of a State Dredge Material Management Plan for non-federal projects
Continue funding coastal resiliency projects
The 2021 session of the N.C. General Assembly was a productive session for coastal issues. The General Assembly passed a budget in November that spends $25.9 billion in the current fiscal year (which started July 1) and $27 billion in the 2022-2023 year.
The Bill provides $40M to the Coastal Storm Damage Mitigation Fund for grants to local governments for coastal storm damage projects. Of those funds, $20 M is allocated to the Town of Oak Island as matching funds for shoreline stabilization and $2M is allocated to the North Carolina Coastal Federation for grants to support living shorelines, oyster reefs and marsh restoration.
The Bill also includes $15M to establish a Disaster Relief and Mitigation Fund (previously House Bill 500), $15M for a Transportation Infrastructure Resiliency Fund and $20M to the Department of Environmental Quality to develop a statewide Flood Resiliency Blueprint as well as local assistance for Stormwater Infrastructure Investments Fund (a special fund that will provide grants to improve infrastructure for controlling stormwater to local governments) and $100,000 for siting and acquisition of dredged disposal easement sites and assessments and date collection for dredge material disposal sites in the state.
Additionally, the Bill provides $1.5M to the Wildlife Resources Commission for the removal of abandoned and derelict vessels and another $1.15 M to the Resilience Coastal Communities Program.
To read the entire Bill go to Senate Bill 105/SL 2021-180.