Protecting North Carolina’s coast for generations to come

Ginger Webster, along with her husband Ralph and sister Kaye Lyerly, founded the Webster-Lyerly Endowment for Coastal Resource Protection in 2019. Since then, the endowment has awarded more than $41,000 in grants to support coastal resource protection and public health in North Carolina’s coastal areas, including $11,000 in 2023. 

Webster, a longtime member of NCCF’s Currituck-Dare Community Foundation advisory board and a co-chair of NCCF’s Currituck-Dare Women’s Fund, was an administrator with the US Environmental Protection Agency for 16 years. She has also served on the board of the North Carolina Coastal Federation.

Lyerly has been an active volunteer with organizations dedicated to protecting and rehabilitating sea turtles including Network for Endangered Sea Turtles (NEST) and the Roanoke Island Aquarium

Naturally, the endowment was inspired by Webster and Lyerly’s passion for the environment, particularly the coast. Both sisters have been dedicated to protecting coastal land, water and the living creatures that depend on that environment.

“Serving with the community foundation has always been an easy fit for me.” said Ginger Webster. “I have never lacked shelter or food or a caring circle of family and friends. Giving back has always been an important part of my daily life.”

Born from a conversation about planned giving, Ginger and Ralph Webster along with Lyerly settled on a field of interest fund – endeavoring to enjoy participating in the grantmaking process rather than leaving it only in their estate.

The other motivating force behind their decision to start an endowment was the desire to pass down the value of philanthropy in daily life to their extended family – children, grandchildren and beyond.

“We include them in this process, and we have set up the fund to pass along through generations of our family,” said Webster.

Some past grantees of the endowment include:

“If you have a passion and an interest, philanthropy gives you an opportunity to not only leave a legacy, but to get engaged now,” said Webster. “You can set an example for your family now and make a difference for generations to come.”