Carteret County to receive millions from state budget for flood mitigation

Crystal Coast

MOREHEAD CITY, N.C. (WNCT) – Carteret County will receive millions in funding from the state budget. The money will go towards various community projects, and much of the money will focus on flood mitigation efforts.

Among money for other projects, Carteret County will receive $1 million for a local dredging project and $2 million for a living shoreline project on Sugarloaf Island.

“There’s also significant funding that’s been put aside for natural and nature-based infrastructure,” said Assistant Professor of Environmental Science at UNC Chapel Hill, Dr. Antonia Sebastian.

Sebastian explained when dealing with flooding, research shows living shorelines to be more resilient than man-made walls and structures. She adds that this funding is crucial as we face climate change.

“I think also those types of initiatives coming forward in the budget are also really critical and important for us to be more resilient in the future to climate change,” Sebastian said.

The money will make the North Carolina Office of Resilience and Recovery permanent. This group was created in response to Hurricane Florence and helps local governments receive federal funding for flood relief.

“And that is really important for us when thinking about how we prepare for and adapt to the floods we’re seeing now, and potentially the floods we’re going to see in the future. And it also helps us on the recovery side,” said Sebastian.

She added that, as flooding has gotten worse here in Eastern North Carolina, we are seeing increased recognition of the need for environmental efforts to mitigate storms.

“In fact, they may increase in frequency and intensity in the future, especially together with coastal erosion and sea-level rise that we’re seeing down on the barrier islands and along the coastline, the inner shore, and so I think that there is widespread support in the state of North Carolina from legislators and from their constituencies to start thinking about how we respond to and adapt to this new normal,” she explained.

The budget also designates money to Carteret Community College, flood mitigation in Marshallberg, trail and sidewalk repairs as well as a new firefighter training tower.

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