State Seeks Suggestions for Waterfront Purchases
By Megan Williams
Wilmington, NC – The Department of Marine Fisheries has twenty million dollars to spend on waterfront access, and it wants the public's help to decide where.
The General Assembly set aside the money last session to buy coastal property for public recreation and commercial fishermen, everything from boat ramps and fishing piers to docks and fish houses.
Department Head Louis Daniel says so far he's heard ideas that range from a few acres of undeveloped waterfront land, to Yaupon Pier on Oak Island.
According to Daniel, this windfall comes at just the right time to take advantage of the slowing real estate market.
"With the market in the condition that it's in, we have a great opportunity to get a big bang for this buck."
While Daniel says suggestions far outstrip funding, he hopes to end this public input process with a detailed map of access needs along the coast.
"So that we can go back to the General Assembly and indicate, here's what we've done, and here's what we could do, if there's additional opportunities that you all see fit to fund in the future."
The Department of Marine Fisheries will fund the purchase of waterfront property, but intends to leave the management to local governments and organizations.
The deadline for waterfront access suggestions is November 1st. Daniel hopes to present a full list of projects by early next year.
Find out more about the Department of Marine Fisheries' public input process here.