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 and the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission announced today the approval of 11 grants totaling $1.99 million from the N.C. Marine Resources Fund. This is the first set of grants awarded from CRFL revenues, other than in-house projects of the Division of Marine Fisheries or the Wildlife Resources Commission.

“I feel we are off to a good start putting saltwater license money to work,” said Mac Currin, Marine Fisheries Commission chairman. “There is a good balance of new and improved angler access, research needed for better management and habitat enhancement.”

Wes Seegars is chairman of the N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission.

“The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission and the Marine Fisheries Commission staffs collaborated to review and recommend authorized projects funded from the sale of Coastal Recreational Fishing Licenses,” Seegars said. “There is a tremendous need for public access to coastal waters, and three of these projects increase boating and fishing access.”

Grants were sorted into three focus areas: People, $947,500; Fish, $619,096 and Habitat, $422,970.

“These were the areas where we felt there was the greatest funding need,” said Louis Daniel, director of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries.

“We look forward to funding future projects that will benefit aquatic habitats, obtain important information on managing sport fisheries, and provide recreational fishing opportunities,” said Gordon Myers, director of the Wildlife Resources Commission.

North Carolina began requiring a license for fishing in coastal waters Jan. 1, 2007. Revenues from license sales go into two different funds, depending on the type of license. Expenditures must be used to manage, protect, restore, develop, cultivate, conserve and enhance the marine resources. Revenues from the sale of all lifetime coastal fishing licenses and a portion of the lifetime unified hunting and statewide fishing licenses go into a N.C. Marine Resources Endowment Fund. Only the interest of this account may be spent.

Revenues from the sale of annual and 10-day coastal fishing licenses and a portion of the annual unified hunting and statewide fishing licenses go into a N.C. Marine Resources Fund. Spending may come from the principal of this account.

Spending from either of the funds must be approved by both the MFC and the WRC.

The N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries received 19 applications for grants requesting $2.2 million from the N.C. Marine Resources Fund.

“There was excellent cooperation and coordination between the two commissions concerning which projects should be funded,” Daniel said.

Projects chosen for funding are:
1. $25,000 for Take a Kid Fishing
2. $300,000 for a boat landing on Bricklanding Road in Brunswick County
3. $122,500 for a boating access site in Cedar Point in Carteret County
4. $500,000 for a Wildlife Resources Commission boating access area at Snow’s Cut
5. $98,828 for a N.C. State University Center for Marine Sciences and Technology study of the movement and mortality of spotted sea trout
6. $496,527 for DMF to develop a comprehensive recreational fishing data collection program
7. $23,741 for a UNC-Wilmington king mackerel tournament text message catch and effort reporting program
8. $44,665 for an N.C. State University study of the spawning characteristics of blueback herring
9. $135,325 to enhance the DMF review of coastal development permits
10. $132,242 for a UNC Institute of Marine Sciences project to test alternative designs of planting oyster seed
11. $110,738 for the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Program to develop a submerged aquatic vegetation monitoring program

For more information, contact CRFL Grants Coordinator Bonnie Jones at (252) 808-8113 or