Atlantic Beach receives storm water management grant

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Atlantic Beach is receiving a $15,000 grant for stormwater resiliency from Duke Energy.

The town plans on matching the grant for a combined $30,000 to go towards developing a plan that will deal with water quality and stormwater flooding issues.

This has been an issue for Atlantic Beach for many years.

The past two years the Town of Atlantic Beach formed a citizen committee and met with local officials to try and pinpoint issues when it comes to stormwater.

“Any time we’ve got heavy rain the water just doesn’t flow away from the streets as quickly as we would all like it to,” said Michelle Eitner, Town of Atlantic Beach.

Their plan will focus on stormwater runoff and water quality issues.

The UNC Institute of Marine Sciences started working with the town three years ago to look closer at what the contamination events they’ve seen mean.

“It’s in the best interest of our coastal towns to be sure they have good water quality because when people are booking vacations they want to make sure they’re proactive to have good water quality because those are the locations people will pick,” said Rachel Noble, UNC Institute of Marine Sciences.

Atlantic Beach is just the latest coastal town behind Emerald Isle, Pine Knoll Shores and others to take a deeper look at stormwater management.

“Atlantic Beach doing it ourselves, that’s not going to make a big impact, but everyone doing it at the same time is going to make a huge impact,” said Eitner.

Town officials said so far residents are invested in a long term plan.

Researchers say if people want to continue to live, work in, and visit Carteret County, we all have to share the job of trying to reduce the amount of water that flows into sounds and estuaries.

“It’s really important to get people on board with this idea of being proactive to protect their immediate environment, to reduce their risk, to keep their property value high, to want to stay in their town because the water quality is excellent,” said Noble.

Town officials hope to roll out their plan by mid-fall.

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