02/13/09 — NCMRF has approved 11 grants

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NCMRF has approved 11 grants

By From staff reports
Published in Sports on February 13, 2009 1:46 PM

MOREHEAD CITY -- Revenues from the N.C. Coastal Recreational Fishing License will pay nearly $2 million in the coming year toward projects to help provide coastal fishing access and fisheries and habitat research.

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission announced Wednesday the approval of 11 grants totaling $1.99 million from the N.C. Marine Resources Fund. This is the first set of grants awarded from CRFL revenues.

"I feel we are off to a good start putting saltwater license money to work," said Mac Currin, Marine Fisheries Commission chairman. "There is a good balance of new and improved angler access, research needed for better management and habitat enhancement."

The joint effort between the two commissions has proven to be mutually profitable.

"The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the Marine Fisheries Commission staffs collaborated to review and recommend authorized projects funded from the sale of Coastal Recreational Fishing Licenses," said Wildlife Resources Commission chairman Wes Seegars, of Goldsboro. "There is a tremendous need for public access to coastal waters and three of these projects increase boating and fishing access."

Grants were sorted into three focus areas, People, Fish and Habitat.

"These were the areas where we felt there was the greatest funding need," said Louis Daniel, director of the NCDMF. "There was excellent cooperation and coordination between the two commissions concerning which projects should be funded."

North Carolina began requiring a license for fishing in coastal waters Jan. 1, 2007. Revenues from license sales go into two different funds depending on the type of license.

Revenues from the sale of all lifetime coastal fishing licenses and a portion of the lifetime unified hunting and statewide fishing licenses go into a N.C. Marine Resources Endowment Fund. Only the interest of this account may be spent. Revenues from the sale of annual and 10-day coastal fishing licenses, and a portion of the annual unified hunting and statewide fishing licenses go into a N.C. Marine Resources Fund.

Spending from either of the funds must be approved by both the MFC and the WRC.

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries received 19 applications for grants requesting a total of $2.2 million.

Some of the programs that were approved for funding include a new boat ramp at Bricklanding Road in Brunswick County, a boat-access site at Cedar Point in Carteret County and a Wildlife Resources Commission boating access area at Snow's Cut.