Duke Energy announced almost $730,000 in grants for nine water quality projects in the Carolinas, including $100,000 each to Belmont, Rock Hill and Catawba County.
The money comes from Duke’s Water Resources Fund, to which Duke committed $10 million following a 2014 coal ash spill into the Dan River.
Three of the largest grants were for projects on the Catawba River:
Belmont, $100,000 to complete the Kevin Loftin Riverfront Park, which will offer access to the river in Gaston County.
Rock Hill, $100,000 to build an improved canoe/ kayak launch at River Park, one of three access points to the Catawba in York County.
Catawba County, $100,000 for a handicapped-accessible river observation and fishing platform at Riverbend Park on Lookout Shoals Lake.
Other grants: $100,000 for Randleman’s Deep River Greenway in Randolph County; $95,000 to restore wetland and improve water quality in the Reedy River watershed of Greenville County, S.C.; $90,000 for expanded public access to waterways in Swain County; $70,000 to protect wetlands and a buffer on the Waccamaw River in Columbus County; $48,000 to protect a 155-acre preserve in Stokes County; and $25,000 to improve water quality in streams in Spartanburg County, S.C.
Recipients are selected by an independent body that includes five environmental experts and two Duke employees.