Appalachian Coldwater Economic Stimulus (ACES)
Pilot View proposes ACES projects for western North Carolina
Economic stimulus could soon flow through the cool, pristine headwaters of western North Carolina's mountain counties. Pilot View RC&D, collaborating with three other environmental non-profits, is seeking $25 million over five years to fund stream restoration and water quality improvement projects in nine counties. Improving and maintaining water quality in these headwater areas of North Carolina brings immediate employment to targeted workers including heavy equipment operators, surveyors, and quarry workers with short-term economic stimulus for the local communities. It brings long-term benefits to the region through improved water quality, better flood control, enhanced tourism to trout streams and more.
The North Carolina counties mostly border Virginia and Tennessee in an arc from Surry to Buncombe. The projects will stabilize streams, repair unsafe dams, reduce erosion and sedimentation, improve water quality, and maintain trout streams. Pilot View is joining with Blue Ridge RC&D, Mountain Valley RC&D, and Resource Institute in pursuing $5 million annually for this five-year project. State funding could be matched with federal dollars. "This project is a win-win-win," said Charles Anderson, executive director of Pilot View RC&D. "It helps the local economies, improves our regional environment, and brings federal money to North Carolina."