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Duke Energy makes $730,000 in water grants

Water pours into the Catawba River from the bottom of Lake James near Morganton.
Water pours into the Catawba River from the bottom of Lake James near Morganton. jsimmons@charlotteobserver.com

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.

Bruce Henderson: 704-358-5051, @bhender

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