SWAN QUARTER — The fourth public meeting about the Lake Mattamuskeet Watershed Restoration Plan is on May 8 and will cover strategies that are being explored by the planning team.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Hyde County Government Complex in Swan Quarter. The agenda is available here.

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 and harm the lake’s fish and wildlife. The quarterly public meetings are designed to involve the public in the development of the plan.

The bulk of the meeting will be spent talking about flooding and water quality strategies. Linda D’Anna, research associate for UNC Coastal Studies Institute, will present her findings from interviews she has conducted with county residents.

Michael Flynn, coastal advocate for the federation, will review the strategies that are currently being evaluated. Flynn has compiled the strategies based off of ideas that have been proposed from stakeholder meetings, input from previous public meetings and D’Anna’s interviews.

Time toward the end of the meeting will be dedicated to gathering input from attendees on the feasibility of the strategies. This process will help the planning team determine which strategies should be prioritized in the plan.

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. The goals and action items in the plan will be informed by scientific studies as well as local knowledge and experiences.

The planning process began in summer 2017 and will be completed by November 2018. The draft public plan is set to be reviewed at the July 10public meeting, and there will be an opportunity for review and input on the draft.

Additional public meetings for the Lake Watershed Restoration Plan will be held on July 10 and Sept. 18 at 7 p.m. at the Hyde County Government Complex in Swan Quarter.

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 is updated regularly as the plan progresses. Interested community members can also leave comments and sign up for a mailing list to receive email updates. An overview of the stakeholder committee can be found here.

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.