NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – New Hanover County Soil and Water Conservation District Board Chair, William J. “Bill” Hart, has been awarded the 2020 Pelican Award for Decades of Outstanding Leadership from the NC Coastal Federation to Restore North Carolina’s Coastal Waters.
The Pelican Award program was initiated in 2003 to recognize people and organizations that have shown exemplary coastal stewardship. This year, 14 awards were given at a virtual event held August 6.
“Bill has brought [New Hanover County Soil and Water Conservation District] really persistent, dedicated and inspired leadership over the years,” said presenter Todd Miller, Executive Director of the NC Coastal Federation. “In fact it was Bill’s brainchild that resulted in the North Carolina General Assembly creating and funding a new program called the Community Assistance Program, that is designed to provide cost-share assistance to land owners in our urbanized and developed areas to better protect water quality by using low-impact development practices. The Coastal Federation has taken advantage of this program in multiple counties to install rain gardens, cisterns and even living shorelines.”
Hart has worked in and advocated for coastal management since the mid-sixties and has served on the New Hanover County Soil and Water Conservation District’s board since 2002. He has devoted decades confronting issues associated with stormwater runoff and other coastal challenges, and was a key influencer in the creation of the Lower Cape Fear Stewardship Development Program. Because of his influence and dedication, the statewide program was signed into law in 2006, and has since become a model followed locally as well as outside of North Carolina.
“The New Hanover County Soil and Water Conservation District commends and congratulates Bill on his achievements and this award,” said New Hanover County Soil and Water Conservation District Director Dru Harrison. “We are proud to have such a devoted Chairman representing the county and district.”
Learn about the New Hanover County Soil and Water Conservation District at SoilWater.NHCgov.com.