Habitat program grants available
CHARLOTTE Duke Energy is offering grants through the Habitat Enhancement Program to qualifying government agencies and nonprofit organizations that want to enhance, create and protect fish and wildlife habitats along the Catawba-Wateree River and its tributaries in North and South Carolina.
HEP is a cooperative effort by Duke Energy, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
The program is funded annually from a fee charged to individuals and residential marina developers seeking permits to build piers on the Catawba-Wateree lakes. The Foundation for the Carolinas administers the funds.
“This is an important program for the enhancement and creation of fish and wildlife habitat within and adjoining the Catawba River,” said Joe Hall, Duke Energy lake services director. “The program has helped support numerous fish and wildlife habitat activities since its beginning more than 10 years ago.”
Those interested are encouraged to complete an application found at duke-energy.com/lakes/hep-how-to-apply.asp before July 31.
Projects eligible for funding include planting native shoreline vegetation, constructing osprey platforms and wood duck boxes, and installing fish attractors, to purchasing property and conservation easements along the Catawba-Wateree River that permanently preserve rare and unique habitats.
More than $150,000 was awarded in 2013. Since 2007, about $1.5 million has been approved in the Carolinas for funding habitat enhancement projects. A panel of scientists, along with several residents, will select projects that will receive funding in 2014.
License sales begin June 16
COLUMBIA License sales for 2014-2015 hunting and fishing licenses begin on June 16.
Licenses are available in person at any of the four regional S.C. Department of Natural Resources offices or by visiting one of the 500 license vendors across the state. Licenses also are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling 1-866-714-3611 or by visiting the DNR website www.dnr.sc.gov/purchase. Having a state issued identification ready and a current South Carolina hunting/fishing license with customer identification number will speed the purchase.
Residents and nonresidents age 16 and older must purchase the required licenses to hunt and fish in South Carolina. Anyone born after June 30, 1979, must have successfully completed a hunter education course prior to obtain a hunting license.
Hunting license applicants who do not have a hunter education certification may use a one-time exemption and apply for an annual Apprentice Hunting License. The apprentice hunter must be accompanied by a S.C. licensed hunter who is not licensed as an apprentice hunter, is at least 21 years of age, has not been convicted of a hunting or hunter education violation or received deferred adjudication of the same, and stays within a distance that enables uninterrupted, unaided, visual and oral communication with the apprentice hunter and provides adequate direction to the apprentice.
Life jackets available
LAKE WYLIE A life jacket loaner kiosk is open at Buster Boyd Access Area.
The kiosk, an effort of Duke Energy and Coast Guard Auxiliary Lake Wylie, provides adult- and child-sized life jackets visitors can borrow free for a day on the water.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, about 85 percent of those who drowned in 2012 were not wearing life jackets.
Duke Energy has helped sponsor 11 life jacket loaner kiosks in the Carolinas and is looking for sponsors to help fund the construction of additional kiosks, along with donations for life jackets.
Marina hosts free movie nights
CHARLOTTE Lake Wylie Marina will host movie night July 18 and Aug. 15 at sunset to raise money and awareness for Saving Eliza’s story in the boat-in movie event.
The movie is free, but donations will be accepted to help Eliza O’Neill, 4, of Columbia, who was diagnosed with Sanfilippo Syndrome, a rare genetic disease that attacks the brain. Money raised will send her for clinical trial at Ohio State University and Nationwide Children’s Hospital. Matt Sellhorst, Hall Marine employee, is cousin to the O’Neill family.
For more information about Eliza, visit SavingEliza.com. For more information about the marina, visit HallMarine.com.
Marine group meets monthly
LAKE WYLIE Lake Wylie Marine Commission meets at 7 p.m. the fourth Monday of the month at various locations in York, Gaston and Mecklenburg counties. The public is invited. For more information and meeting locations, visit lakewyliemarinecommission.com.
Lake info available on app
LAKE WYLIE Duke Energy has made its lake information smartphone friendly.
The site can be accessed on a smartphone at m.duke-energy.com. The default menu shows an option for Lakes and Recreation.
Duke Energy’s lake information websites – which include recreational water release schedules, lake levels and alerts – attract thousands of hits each month. The number rises steadily when heavy rainfall causes high water conditions at the lakes managed by the company.
In addition to accessing the new mobile-enabled website, boaters can check real-time lake levels and updates at duke-energy.com/lakes/levels.asp, and on Duke Energy’s lake information phone line at 800-829-5253.
Scuba club dives into events
FORT MILL The Carolina Scuba & Adventure Club meets monthly at the Towne Tavern in Fort Mill. Club members will participate in beach cleanups, including an underwater cleanup. Email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dive team needs volunteers
YORK COUNTY The York County Emergency Response Team is seeking volunteers to join the team.
The team does water-related search, rescue and recovery, swift water rescue, low-angle rope rescue and searches for missing people.
Scuba divers and nondivers are needed. Visit yorkcountyert.com to find out more.
For more information, call 803-372-7593.