The North Carolina Coastal Federation is teaming up with the University of North Carolina Wilmington’s Environmental Science Department, East Carolina Council (ECC) and Pine Knoll Shores to create a watershed restoration plan for the coastal community in Carteret County.
The Pine Knoll Shores watershed restoration planning process began early this year and the plan is now being drafted. The watershed restoration plan will set a framework and formal plan for utilizing targeted stormwater reduction techniques to reduce runoff and improve water quality.
The primary goal of this plan is to improve water quality in Pine Knoll Shores and reduce permanent shellfish closures in Bogue Sound.
Stormwater runoff is the primary cause of water quality impairment that results in waters not meeting shellfishing standards. Instead of soaking into the ground and being taken up by vegetation, a much larger amount of rain now quickly runs over the urban landscape and into the town’s surface waters.
“The Town of Pine Knoll Shores is excited to be partnering with these organizations to develop a stormwater reduction plan,” said Sarah Williams, Pine Knoll Shores town clerk. “As a coastal town, we recognize the importance of our clean waterways and are looking forward to implementing our plan and are grateful to the federation for facilitating these meetings.”
Although it is still being completed, this watershed restoration plan will also be used to create community education programs that demonstrate how stormwater surface runoff pollutes waterways and how reducing the volume of stormwater runoff can improve water quality. It will also be used to help determine key sites for reducing stormwater runoff from public and private properties.
The plan is currently being drafted by the federation, UNCW, ECC and the Pine Knoll Shores. It is scheduled to be presented to the public and the Board of Commissioners next month and set for completion by the end of the year.
To learn more about watershed restoration planning, please visit nccoast.org/guidebook.