SWAN QUARTER — The third public meeting to discuss progress and ongoing research related to the development of the Lake Mattamuskeet Watershed Restoration Plan will be held on Feb. 6.

The goal of the watershed restoration plan is to provide a blueprint for how to best address water quality and flooding issues that affect nearby landowners as well as impacts to the lake’s fish and wildlife. Quarterly public meetings are held to engage and inform the public throughout the plan development. The meetings begin at 7 p.m. at the Hyde County Government Complex in Swan Quarter. The Feb. 6 agenda is available here.

At the meeting, the North Carolina Coastal Federation will present a timeline of lake and watershed changes. The federation will also review a web-based resource, called a story map, which details the lake’s history, current uses and areas of concern.

There will be an update on the draft goals for the plan that have been developed by the stakeholder committee. An overview of the stakeholder committee can be found here.

Toward the end of the meeting, time will be dedicated to public comments and questions, and attendees will hear about next steps. During this time the public is invited to offer ideas on what measures could be taken to restore the lake watershed.

When completed, this plan will explain how the lake should and does function, its current status and health, and identify various practical management options for the lake watershed that will help address water quality and flooding issues. These goals and action items will be informed by scientific studies as well as local knowledge and experiences.

The planning process, facilitated by the North Carolina Coastal Federation, began in summer of 2017 and will be completed in the fall of 2018.

Additional public meetings for the Lake Mattamuskeet Watershed Restoration Plan will be held at 7 p.m. on the following dates at the Hyde County Government Complex in Swan Quarter:

— May 8, 2018
— July 10, 2018
— Sept. 18, 2018

More information about the plan, including meeting agendas, information about the stakeholder group and notes from previous public meetings, can be found at nccoast.org/lakemattamuskeet. This web page will be updated regularly as the plan progresses. Interested community members can also leave comments and sign up for a mailing list to receive email updates.

Questions about the watershed restoration plan can be directed to Erin Fleckenstein, coastal scientist for the North Carolina Coastal Federation’s Wanchese office, at 252-473-1607. In the event of severe weather, the meetings will be rescheduled and community members can call that number or check the website for more information.