Investing in Coastal Communities

North Carolina’s conservation trust funds contribute to conservation of wetlands, natural areas parks and military buffers throughout coastal communities


Protecting the coast’s most important economic assets

Land and water are North Carolina’s most important economic assets. The state’s major economic engines – agriculture, tourism, the military, hunting, fishing, and outdoor recreation – all depend on land and water conservation.

Investing in our economy and quality of life

At every level, sportsmen, conservation organizations, the military, communities, private landowners, local governments and the state work together to ensure our natural resources support a vibrant economy by conserving:

Watersheds and stream buffers – preventing polluted runoff, reducing the cost of water treatment for local governments, saving customers money.

Game lands and estuaries – critical to hunting, commercial and sport fishing and a $28 billion outdoors industry.

Parks, trails, and scenic areas – boosting the state’s $20 billion tourism economy. And enhancing North Carolina’s quality of life and ability to attract new families and businesses.

Farmland – protecting working family farms to support the state’s $84 billion agricultural industry.

Military buffers – supporting the $66 billion military’s economic impact by ensuring nearby lands aren’t developed.

Partnerships between government agencies, conservation groups, and private landowners work to protect our natural resources, support major economic sectors, and strengthen our local communities. The value of these partnerships demonstrates the cooperative spirit of all North Carolinians working together to preserve the past while making our future brighter.

Demand for trust fund grants far exceeds available resources. More than 70 percent of registered voters support restoring state funding for the conservation trust funds to $100 million to protect water quality, conserve working farms, and preserve parkland and historic sites.

North Carolina’s conservation trust funds have invested $184 million in Jones, Carteret, Craven, Pender, and Onslow County projects that support economic development and preserve unique natural features so our state continues to be a wonderful place to work, play, and raise a family.

About The Trust Funds

Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF)

The Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) is a primary source of grants allowing hundreds of local governments, state agencies, and conservation nonprofits to address water pollution, protect clean water supplies, and conserve lands that are ecologically, culturally, or historically significant.

  • CWMTF has protected more than 460,000 acres of watershed and nearly 5,000 miles of stream buffers.
  • In the past two years, CWMTF awarded nearly $50 million in grants to communities and conservation organizations.

Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF)

The Parks and Recreation Trust Fund (PARTF)supports land acquisition and improvements within the state’s park system. PARTF is the main source of funding for local parkland acquisitions, facility improvements, and public beach and estuarine access.

  • PARTF provided more than $200 million for 850 local park projects and funded more than $500 million in projects since 1994.

Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund

The Agricultural Development and Farmland Preservation Trust Fund (ADFPTF) supports the state’s agricultural economy by funding programs that support working family farms through conservation easements on threatened farmland and agricultural development projects. ADFPTF dollars also match Department of Defense funds to protect farms and working forest near military facilities.

  • ADFPTF has protected more than 22,000 acres of family farms to date.