Fish conservation and water quality to benefit from Duke grants

Environmental quality projects in Western North Carolina will get a boost thanks to grants from the Duke Energy Foundation, whose Water Resources Fund this year doled out $778,000 to environmental and wildlife programs. 

The North Carolina Wildlife Federation received $85,000 to benefit the Little Tennessee Native Fish Conservation Area partnership, the nation’s first native fish conservation area. 

The money will fund educational videos and an interactive web-based map to guide conservation efforts. The Native Fish Conservation Area is a new watershed-scale, non-regulatory approach to long term conservation and restoration of native fish. Macon, Jackson, Swain, Cherokee, Clay and Graham counties will be among those to benefit from the project. 

The Southwestern North Carolina Resource Conservation and Development Council received $71,000 to improve water quality in Maggie Valley. 

The money will go to restore 200 feet of streambank, install a fire truck washing pad and biofilter, and implement stormwater best management practices with stream access points. These measures should help keep the stream clean enough for trout to thrive. 

The Water Resources Fund is a $10 million multiyear commitment on Duke’s part to help local nonprofits protect and improve the environments they serve. 

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