Soil and Water Conservation District mourns the passing of Chairman Bill Hart – Communications and Outreach – Communications and Outreach


Soil and Water Conservation District Mourns Passing of Chairman Bill Hart

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, North Carolina – William “Bill” Hart, chairman of the New Hanover Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors, died suddenly on July 20.

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

One of his greatest accomplishments was his role in establishing the statewide Community Conservation Assistance Program. This innovative program provides cost-share funding to help people reduce runoff from their property. The statewide program was enacted in 2006 and has become a model followed by governments outside of North Carolina.

Additionally, Hart helped establish the Lower Cape Fear Stewardship Development Awards which annually recognize outstanding development projects that protect, conserve, enhance and promote the natural resources of the Lower Cape Fear region.

“Bill has been a mentor to me since my employment with the New Hanover Soil and Water Conservation District,” said Dru Harrison, director of the Soil and Water Conservation District. “He provided me with 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 received the Pelican Award for Decades of Outstanding Leadership from the NC Coastal Federation in restoring North Carolina’s coastal waters.

A celebration of Hart’s life will be held on Friday July 29 and details can be seen here.

Vice President Sue Hayes will assume the role of interim chair of the Soil and Water Conservation District Board of Supervisors until new officers are elected in December. The Soil and Water Conservation District Council is recommending Tom Boland to serve as Hart’s seat on the council for the remainder of his term until December 5, 2022. This recommendation will be submitted to the Soils Commission and North Carolina Water for final approval.

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