Saltwater Connections is a regional initiative aimed at sustaining livelihoods, cultural heritage, and natural resources along North Carolina’s central coast, from Hatteras Island to Ocracoke and Down East Carteret County.
The work of the program is enabled through an Innovative Economic Development Grant from the NC Rural Center. The focus area of the grant is the unincorporated communities along the Outer Banks National Scenic Byway, which originates at Whalebone Junction (Nags Head) and stretches south to the North River in the village of Bettie in Carteret County.
Saltwater Connections has recently been involved in many successful projects in northeastern North Carolina. Saltwater Connections established NC Catch, a non-profit umbrella organization to local seafood branding groups that is marketing local seafood and enhancing consumer education. They also secured federal highway grants exceeding $500,000 for installation of wayfinding and interpretive signage along the Outer Banks National Scenic Byway. Finally, they identified community assets and documented economic development opportunities for 21 communities along the Byway.
Jimmy Johnson is APNEP's representative for Saltwater Connections.
CCMP action: D2.1