By SUSAN WEST
Daniel, director of the state Division of Marine Fisheries, announced
April 2 the 13 projects selected for funding from the Waterfront Access
and Marine Industry Fund.
Approved by the General Assembly in 2007, the Waterfront Access and
Marine Industry Fund (WAMI) provided $20 million for the purchase of
coastal waterfront properties and the development of public and
commercial waterfront access facilities.
State Senate Pro-tem Marc Basnight of Manteo was instrumental in gaining legislative support for the program.
After a lengthy review process that involved three separate advisory
committees, Daniel selected two projects in Dare County for funding.
Three million from the fund will go towards the purchase of the marina
and 12 acres of land at Manns Harbor owned by Outdoor Properties
III. When the project is complete, the site will provide
commercial fishing and recreational access to the Croatan Sound, with
boat ramps, docks, picnic areas, parking, and restrooms.
Like most of the other projects, the Manns Harbor project did not
receive the total amount requested. The proposal requested $4.7
million, estimating the total cost of the project at $5.7 million.
The North Carolina Aquariums Division received $1.5 million of the $2
million requested for help with the replacement of the old
Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head with a concrete fishing pier. The
project will cost almost $17 million.
Daniel said other state agencies, such as Wildlife Resources
Commission, Coastal Management Commission, and Clean Water Management
Trust Fund, have agreed to help fund some of the projects. Other
projects still need to identify additional funding sources.
“We had $20 million to work with and the total cost of the projects is about $71 million,” he said.
Daniel said he was pleased that he was able to distribute money from the WAMI fund equally among the three coastal regions.
Six projects in the northeast region were funded at a total of $6.8
million. Four central coastal projects received $6.2 million and
three southeast projects received $6.9 million.
In Tyrrell County, a jetty, bulkhead and boat slips will be built at
the foot of the Alligator River Bridge on property owned by the state
Department of Transportation.
Two projects in Swan Quarter – the purchase of two acres of land
next to property owned by the Wildlife Resources Commission and the
purchase of Cahoon Seafood – received partial funding.
One million dollars will go towards the purchase of land in Engelhard
in Hyde County for expansion of the Wanchese Seafood Industrial Park by
the state Department of Commerce.
Funded projects in the central region include assistance with planning
and site preparation for an Aquarium Divisions pier at Emerald Isle,
building a boat ramp at Goose Creek State Park, improving public
fishing and boating facilities on Radio Island, and purchasing 28 acres
on Cedar Island.
In the southern region, the WAMI fund will assist with the purchase of
land in Hampstead, land in Brunswick County, and Millis Seafood in
Daniel said the purchase of enterprises like Millis Seafood and Cahoon
Seafood doesn’t mean that the state will lease out fish houses or
docking space. Those areas will simply provide landing places for
“We’re very cognizant of the concern over the state competing with private enterprises,” he explained.
Daniel also noted that WAMI funds could not be used to improve
privately owned infrastructure, such as boat slips at fish houses or