May 8 marked the fourth public meeting for the Lake Mattamuskeet Watershed Restoration Plan. The lake is considered unhealthy and is listed on the state 303(d) list for impaired waters. For the past year, a team of concerned people has joined together to develop a plan​ ​that will restore the lake’s health and improve conditions for people living around the lake.

​The goals of the plan are to:

  • Protect the way of life in Hyde County
  • Actively manage the lake’s water levels
  • Improve water quality in the lake​

At the meeting, the North Carolina Coastal Federation and Hyde County provided updates on the development of the watershed restoration plan. This included: going over the major progress to date and discussing the current state of the lake and watershed, findings from interviews with Hyde County residents and strategies that are being considered to improve conditions in and around the lake. Learn more about the various presentations below, and find a compilation of all the presentations at this link.

State of the watershed

Michael Flynn, coastal advocate at the Coastal Federation’s Wanchese office, presented on the current and desired states of the lake and watershed. The watershed restoration plan will address current issues with lake level management, turbidity, submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV), carp, pH levels and chlorophyll a levels.

Interviews with Hyde County residents

Since fall 2017, Linda D’Anna, research associate for UNC Coastal Studies Institute, has conducted interviews with 16 landowners who live around Lake Mattamuskeet. She told attendees that these interviews provide qualitative information for the plan, and it helps the development team understand the universal perspectives about the lake. D’Anna reported back on some of the findings from those interviews as they relate to the three goals of the watershed restoration plan: protecting the way of life in Hyde County, active management of water levels and improving water quality. A full report will be included with the watershed restoration plan​.

Management actions to consider and current monitoring efforts

Michael Flynn, coastal advocate at the Coastal Federation, presented on current monitoring and research efforts as they relate to the three goals. He also went over management actions that are being considered for the three goals. Read the slides from his presentation here.

Moving forward

The next steps of the plan development are to identify the feasibility of actions and best management practices (BMPs) being considered by the stakeholder team. The team will then rank the BMPs and actions to determine which ones will go in the plan. Check out a current list of actions and BMPs being considered. The public is invited to offer input on this list. Contact Michael Flynn at michaelf@nccoast.org with any questions or comments.

The next public meetings are planned for July 10 and Sept. 18, 2018 from 7-8:30 p.m. at the Hyde County Government Complex. Stay updated at nccoast.org/lakemattamuskeet.