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The original item was published from 12/6/2022 4:06:23 PM to 7/27/2023 12:00:02 AM.

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Posted on: July 26, 2022

[ARCHIVED] Soil & Water Conservation District mourns passing of Chair Bill Hart

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC – William “Bill” Hart, Chairman of the New Hanover Soil & Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors, passed away unexpectedly on July 20.  

Hart spent his career as an environmental consultant and resource management planner, developing management strategies for national parks, game preserves and forests. After retiring to Wilmington, he focused his efforts as a Supervisor with the New Hanover Soil & Water Conservation District on creating solutions to manage and protect natural resources in the county and throughout the state. He served as a Supervisor for more than 19 years. 

One of his biggest achievements was his role in the creation of the statewide Community Conservation Assistance Program. This innovative program provides cost share funding for people to reduce runoff from their property. The statewide program was signed into law in 2006 and has become a model followed by governments outside of North Carolina. 

In addition, Hart helped create the Lower Cape Fear Stewardship Development Awards which annually recognizes outstanding development projects that protect, conserve, improve and provide awareness of the natural resources in the Lower Cape Fear region.  

“Bill has been a mentor to me since my employment with New Hanover Soil & Water Conservation District,” said Dru Harrison, Soil and Water Conservation District Director. “He provided great insight and support throughout my career, and a huge void will be left in the conservation community without him.” 

Among many other accolades received throughout his career, in 2020 Hart was honored with the Pelican Award for Decades of Outstanding Leadership from the NC Coastal Federation to Restore North Carolina’s Coastal Waters.  

A celebration of life for Hart will be held Friday, July 29 and details can be viewed here. 

Vice Chair Sue Hayes will assume the role of acting Chair for the Soil & Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors until new officers are elected in December. The Soil & Water Conservation District Board is recommending Tom Boland fill Hart’s seat on the board for the remainder of his term through December 5, 2022. This recommendation will go through the North Carolina Soil and Water Commission for final approval. 

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