State grant to fund improvements to beach access in South Nags Head

The Islington Street beach access as it appeared in May 2019. [image courtesy Google Street View]

The Town of Nags Head and Pasquotank County have been awarded state grants to improve beach and water access.

The awards from the state Division of Coastal Management total more than $1 million to eight local governments to improve public access to coastal beaches and waters this fiscal year.

Nags Head received $47,232 for the East Islington Street beach access in South Nags Head near mile post 18.5.

The improvements to the beach access south of Outer Banks Pier include adding a parking area, with handicapped accessible spots, at-grade walkway connecting to the existing crossover, lighting, shower, trash can, bike rack, landscaping, stormwater retention area and signage.

Pasquotank County received $79,750 for Pasquotank River Boardwalk Public Access Improvement Phase III replacement of approximately 750 linear feet of boardwalk decking and railing along the Pasquotank River and on the canoe/kayak launch.

The boardwalk is located behind the College of the Albemarle campus in Elizabeth City.

“North Carolina continues to fund coastal waterfront access projects that allow people of the state and its visitors to enjoy our coastal waters and beaches as a key part of our coastal economy,” said Michael S. Regan, secretary of the Department of Environmental Quality. “

The Public Beach and Coastal Waterfront Access program provides matching funds to local governments in the 20 coastal counties.

Governments that receive grants must match them by contributing at least 25 percent toward the project’s cost.

Funding for the grant program comes from the North Carolina General Assembly through the state’s Parks and Recreation Trust Fund.

Other projects to receive awards include:

  • Atlantic Beach received $88,750 for replacement of approximately 430 linear feet dune crossover at the Durham Avenue Public Beach Access.
  • City of Washington received $280,560 for replacement of approximately 976 feet of the existing wooden boardwalk.
  • Carolina Beach received $195,500 for the acquisition of a .14-acre lot for public beach access parking.
  • Kure Beach received $100,866 to replace the existing beach access 1004.5 crossover that has stairs with an 8-foot wide, ADA compliant flat ramp and add solar lighting.
  • Oak Island received $148,500 for the renovation and expansion to the only beach bathhouse facility with ADA access and parking at Middleton Park.
  • Varnamtown received $95,620 for acquisition of a .10 acre of land adjacent to existing public ramp.

Access projects may include walkways, dune crossovers, restrooms, parking areas, piers and related projects. Funds also may be used for land acquisition or urban waterfront revitalization.

Staff with the state Division of Coastal Management selected the recipients based on criteria set by the N.C. Coastal Resources Commission.

The grant program has provided more than $47 million for nearly 451 public waterfront access sites since the program began in 1981.

This story originally appeared on OBXToday.com. Read More local stories here.