SWANSBORO, N.C. (WNCT)–The town of Swansboro is adding improvements to its downtown parks, including bringing back a place for local fishermen to gather.
After more than a year, the proposed reopening of Swansboro’s only fishing pier is garnering support among residents.
“Any amount of space they can bring will bring more people,” Bill Scull, owner of Swansboro Paddle Boarding, said. “If you look around there’s no place to fish. The town proposed a great idea and spot for people.”
The pier was closed back in 2015 after concerns about its safety.
But thanks to a $112,973 grant from the CAMA Public Water Access program as well as a $98,494 grant from the Coastal Recreation Fishing License (CRFL), both of which were matched locally by $70,039, it’s on its way back.
“There will be alternating heights for the railing that will allow for fishing from a mobility device and by small children,” Brittany Shipp, the town’s parks and recreation director, said. “There will be benches, a new fish cleaning station as well as pedestrian viewing areas where people can just sit and look out on the White Oak River.”
Phase one of updates to Bicentennial Park was completed last year and included the new kayak launch and improvements to the boardwalk.
Other changes in store include landscaping and a trellis for bench swings
The town is finishing up the design process and expects to have the pier constructed in summer 2018.
Elsewhere at Ward Shore Park, a $24,750 DEQ – Water Resources grant that was matched locally will create a living shoreline.
“What we will actually do is remove the sea wall and do some back filling, and over time we’ll do seagrass plantings,” Shipp said. “Over time, the earth that’s been lost will replenish itself.”
The shoreline will prevent erosion of the park. A permit application is underway for that work.
In total, the town received over $265,217 in grants for updates to its parks.
Those funds were matched locally by $94,789.