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Marine Fisheries Commission approves 14 Coastal Recreational Fishing License Grants

MOREHEAD CITY – Revenues from the N.C. Coastal Recreational Fishing License will pay nearly $2 million in the coming year toward projects to help provide coastal fishing access and fisheries and habitat research.

The N.C. Marine Fisheries Commission, in December, approved 14 grants, totaling $1.78 million, for the 2014 cycle.

The grants are sorted into three focus areas. Grants that fall under the People Focus Area include public education and public water access projects. Grants that fall under the Fish Focus Area are fisheries research projects. Grants that fall under the Habitat Focus Area are projects that enhance, protect or research fisheries habitat.

People Focus Area – Six grants totaling $1,177,798 were awarded:

· Wildlife Resources Commission, Rose Bay Boating Access Area – $250,000

One-year grant to upgrade the existing boating access area off U.S. 264, southeast of Scranton in Hyde County.

· Onslow Bay Artificial Reef Association, Enhancement of Three Artificial Reefs in Onslow Bay – $637,500

One year grant to add materials to the Billy Murrell, Meares Harris and Phillip Wolfe reefs.

· Wildlife Resources Commission, Dawson’s Creek Boating Access Area – $95,000

One-year grant to upgrade the existing boating access area off Janiero Road, northeast of the Minnesott Beach Ferry in Pamlico County.

· Wildlife Resources Commission, Turkey Creek Boating Access Area – $130,000

One-year grant to upgrade the existing boating access area on Turkey Point Road in Onslow County.

· Town of Morehead City, Newport River Beach Access Ramp Restrooms – $49,431

One year grant to complete a waterfront access project on Radio Island.

· Town of Carolina Beach, Freeman Park Hatteras Ramp and Signage – $15,867

One-year grant to construct a Hatteras ramp to provide better access at the entrance of Freeman Park.

Fish Focus Area – Five grants totaling $428,815 were awarded:

· N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Multispecies Tagging Program – $109,357

Multi-year grant to tag striped bass, red drum, spotted seatrout, and southern flounder, which will provide independent estimates of abundance and biomass, as well as data on migration rate.

· N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Carcass Collection Program – $17,300

Multi-year grant to continue funding a coast-wide carcass collection program.

· N.C. State University, Stock Structure of Spotted Seatrout: Assessing Genetic Connectivity at Northern Latitudinal Limits – $111,507

Multi-year grant to study population structure of spotted seatrout, which will allow researchers to accurately delineate stock boundaries.

· East Carolina University, Maturation and Fecundity of the Central Southern Management Area Striped Bass Stock – $40,035

One-year grant to continue research on striped bass and provide the Division of Marine Fisheries and Wildlife Resources Commission with the ability to differentiate between the wild and hatchery reared striped bass stock.

· University of North Carolina at Wilmington, Estimating Mortality for Southern Flounder Using Combined Telemetry and Conventional Tagging Approach – $150,616

Multi-year grant to tag southern flounder providing data to be incorporated directly into future stock assessments.

Habitat Focus Area – Three grants totaling $176,500 were awarded:

· N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Mapping Along the Southern North Carolina Coast – $16,500

Multi-year grant to complete mapping submerged aquatic vegetation along the North Carolina coast.

· N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Monitoring of Oyster Sanctuaries and Fish Habitat with Underwater Environmental Equipment – $145,000

One-year grant to purchase underwater camera and equipment to monitor and study oyster sanctuaries and fish habitat.

· N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, Recycled Oyster Shell Collections: Shell as a Critical Habitat – $15,000

One-year grant to provide additional shell material needed for oyster habitat restoration projects through continued collection of shell from recycling sites.

For more information on these grants or the Coastal Recreational Fishing License grant program, contact Beth Govoni, Coastal Recreational Fishing License grants coordinator, at 252-808-8004 or

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