Duke Energy makes $1 million in water grants

McDowell Creek in Mecklenburg County.
McDowell Creek in Mecklenburg County. File

Duke Energy announced more than $1 million in grants Wednesday for work toward cleaner water in the Carolinas.

Duke created its $10 million Water Resources Fund in September 2014, following its coal ash spill into the Dan River. Fifteen initial grants were made in March.

“Already, we’re seeing good things happen due to this fund, including a new nature preserve that recently opened in Wake County and a streambank that was restored in Watauga County,” Shawn Heath, vice president of the Duke Energy Foundation, said in a statement. “These are projects that will have a lasting impact on the environment for decades to come.”

Among 13 awards announced Wednesday was $55,410 to Davidson College to study the impact of water quantity and chemistry on aquatic life in the Rocky River and McDowell watersheds.

The Girl Scouts’ Hornet’s Nest Council got nearly $100,000 for water resources training at a leadership development camp near Statesville.

Oakboro, in Stanly County, won $100,000 to develop a public park allowing canoe and kayak access to the Rocky River.

Other North Carolina grants:

▪ $100,000 to Bridge II Sports to build a boathouse at Lake Crabtree, in Wake County, for equipment that supports water activities for the disabled.

▪ $100,000 to the Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy in Hendersonville to add 178 acres to Pisgah National Forest.

▪ $100,000 to the Durham Soil and Water Conservation District and Wake County Community Conservation Assistance Program for work in the Jordan Lake watershed.

▪ $100,000 to the Maggie Valley Sanitary District to protect the Sheepback Mountain watershed.

▪ $91,000 to Rockingham County River Access to provide access to the Dan River and other projects.

▪ $85,000 to the Conservation Trust for North Carolina to acquire a 34-acre easement along creeks and a waterfall in Wilkes County.

▪ $30,000 to the Eno River Association for protecting a buffer zone near Eno River State Park in Durham and Orange counties.

South Carolina grants:

▪ $100,000 to Conway’s Waccamaw River Park and Recreational Area for a river tract that protects coastal wetlands.

▪ $75,000 to the Beautiful Places Alliance to build a fishing pier at Croft State Park in Spartanburg County.

▪ $30,000 to the Rocky River Conservancy to install a solar-powered water pump in a 6-acre wetland.

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051, @bhender