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Duke Energy funds available for fish and wildlife habitat enhancement projects along waterways in N.C. and S.C.

CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 27, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Beginning May 1, 2017, qualifying government agencies and nonprofit organizations are encouraged to submit applications for Duke Energy habitat enhancement programs in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Approximately $4.66 million in funding is available for projects in 2017.

Projects eligible for funding include a wide range of categories − from planting native shoreline vegetation, constructing osprey platforms and wood duck boxes, and installing fish attractors to purchasing property and conservation easements that permanently preserve rare and unique habitats.

Over the past several years, approximately $1.9 million in funding has been awarded for enhancement projects for the Catawba-Wateree and Keowee-Toxaway habitat enhancement programs. Individual project awards typically range from $10,000 to $50,000.

Those interested in seeking funds are encouraged to complete applications online by the July 31, 2017, deadline. Approved projects will receive funds beginning in the fall of 2017.

Catawba-Wateree Habitat Enhancement Program

Qualifying government agencies and nonprofit organizations wanting to enhance, create and protect fish and wildlife habitats along the Catawba-Wateree River are encouraged to submit applications for grants provided by Duke Energy's Catawba-Wateree Habitat Enhancement Program (CWHEP).

For 2017, a total of $1.87 million is available for Catawba-Wateree enhancement projects located in North Carolina. Funds totaling $1.49 million are available for projects located in South Carolina.

Since 2007, about $1.8 million has been awarded to fund Catawba-Wateree projects ranging from construction of waterfowl nesting platforms and boxes to the creation of large underwater reefs for fish habitat.

CWHEP is a cooperative effort by Duke Energy, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) and the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources (SCDNR).

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.

Those interested in seeking funds from CWHEP this year are encouraged to complete an application online at Catawba-Wateree Habitat Enhancement Program.

Keowee-Toxaway Habitat Enhancement Program

The Keowee-Toxaway Habitat Enhancement Program (KTHEP) funds projects that create, enhance and protect fish and wildlife habitats along the shores of Lake Keowee and Lake Jocassee, as well as in their watersheds.

For 2017, available funds total $1.3 million. Since 2015, the first year of implementation, the KTHEP has funded projects totaling approximately $140,000 to support fish and avian habitat improvements.

The KTHEP was formed as a result of the Keowee-Toxaway Relicensing Agreement Duke Energy entered into with 16 other stakeholder organizations during the Keowee-Toxaway Hydroelectric Project Federal Energy Regulatory Commission relicensing process.

The program is funded annually from a fee charged to individuals and developers seeking lake use permits for projects on the Keowee-Toxaway lakes, as well as by contributions from Duke Energy. The Foothills Community Foundation administers the funds.

Those interested in seeking funds this year are encouraged to complete an application online at Keowee-Toxaway Habitat Enhancement Program.

Duke Energy Carolinas

Duke Energy Carolinas owns nuclear, coal-fired, natural gas, renewables and hydroelectric generation. That diverse fuel mix provides approximately 19,700 megawatts of owned electric capacity to about 2.5 million customers in a 24,000-square-mile service area of North Carolina and South Carolina.

Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is one of the largest energy holding companies in the United States. Its Electric Utilities and Infrastructure business unit serves approximately 7.5 million customers located in six states in the Southeast and Midwest. The company's Gas Utilities and Infrastructure business unit distributes natural gas to approximately 1.6 million customers in the Carolinas, Ohio, Kentucky and Tennessee. Its Commercial Renewables business unit operates a growing renewable energy portfolio across the United States.

Duke Energy is a Fortune 125 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at duke-energy.com

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Contact: Kim Crawford 
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