Clean coastal waters are vital to our health, economy and lifestyles. Along the coast, the waters we depend on for fishing and swimming are becoming polluted by stormwater runoff.
When rain falls on roofs, streets, driveways and parking lots, it collects bacteria and other pollutants and discharges them into our coastal waters. Stormwater is the biggest polluter of coastal waters, making it a top priority for the North Carolina Coastal Federation.
The federation brings together partners in urban and rural landscapes to use low-impact development (LID) techniques that slow down the flow of stormwater runoff and let it to soak into the ground. LID includes stormwater design techniques that infiltrate, filter, store and evaporate runoff. Instead of directing stormwater to ditches, pipes and ponds, LID maintains a landscape that captures and absorbs rain before it has a chance to become polluted runoff.
We tackle stormwater runoff on two fronts:
- We prevent stormwater runoff by working with developers and local governments on ways to incorporate and encourage LID for new developments, and,
- We substantially reduce the volumes of runoff currently impacting our waterways by developing watershed restoration plans and installing on-the-ground LID projects such as rain gardens, infiltration basins, wetlands and swales to catch and infiltrate runoff.
Using a variety of approaches, we work to promote and implement stormwater management programs at the state and local levels. By educating and assisting regional property owners, coastal communities and farmers, we are advancing LID as the next generation of stormwater management.