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Five S.C. programs get Duke grants

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Five programs in South Carolina are among the 16 across three states to receive more than $1.2 million in new grants from Duke Energy's Water Resources Fund to support environmental and wildlife programs. Recipients also include programs in North Carolina and Virginia.

"From conserving lands with abundant water resources to providing access to boats and kayaks and everything in between, the projects we're supporting will benefit generations to come," said Kodwo Ghartey-Tagoe, Duke Energy's South Carolina president, in a news release. "We're proud to support the 16 organizations whose vision and innovation will protect and improve our waterways."

The programs in the Palmetto State receiving grant support include:

  • Friends of the Reedy River Cleveland Park Stables — $100,000 to convert 2.5 acres along the Reedy River into a passive public park. Invasive plants will be removed and replaced with native vegetation and educational signage will share the project's connection to improving water quality. 
  • City of Manning Pocotaligo Nature Walk and Trail — $100,000 to renovate and expand a popular boardwalk through the Pocotaligo Swamp known as the Pocotaligo River Walk and Trail, and to bring the boardwalk up to ADA standards. 
  • Florence County Lynches River Boat and Kayak Project — $68,200 for river cleanup at four priority areas along the Lynches River to improve access for boaters and kayakers.
  • Lindsay Pettus Greenway Gills Creek Nature Pavilion, Trail and Observation Piers — $100,000 to construct a trail and pier overlook to provide recreational trail users access to Gills Creek in Lancaster.  
  • Town of Cheraw Erosion and Handicap Fishing Deck Project — $100,000 to provide three ADA-compliant fishing platforms at the town of Cheraw's Riverside Park on the Pee Dee River.

Grants are selected by an independent panel with diverse environmental expertise. The panel includes five external members and two Duke Energy representatives.

The fund is a $10 million multiyear commitment from Duke Energy to help local organizations continue to protect and improve the environment, including waterways used year-round across the Carolinas and neighboring states. To date, the fund has invested $8.5 million to support 102 projects to protect natural resources, according to the release.

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