A $158,000 planning grant was awarded to Hyde County from the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund on Friday, Sep. 13 in Raleigh. The funding will allow Hyde County to advance the next steps of their recently approved Lake Mattamuskeet Watershed Restoration Plan.

With the funding, Hyde will contract with the North Carolina Coastal Federation and an engineering firm. The team will provide professional services to continue public engagement and complete engineering and design work to develop active water management within the Lake Mattamuskeet watershed.

“Hyde County is extremely honored to have been chosen by the CWMTF for funding,” says Daniel Brinn, water and flood control coordinator for Hyde County. “This award will not only forward our goals of a better, healthier Lake Mattamuskeet in the future, but it also validates the time and effort invested by all our committed partners up to this point.”

The scope of work specifically focuses on completing the engineering and design work necessary to permit a future project.  It is anticipated that the engineered project will involve redirecting water that is currently discharged to the lake and instead route it through restored wetlands. The engineering work will balance both improvements to water quality within the lake and reductions in flooding throughout the watershed.

Another outcome of the project will be the completion of a watershed-scale hydrologic and hydraulic model. This model will refine the current understanding of the amount of water within the watershed that needs to be managed and how it moves given the landscape features. This model will serve as a valuable tool for evaluating other projects and policies identified in the Lake Mattamuskeet Watershed Restoration Plan.

Hyde County, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission partnered with the federation and community members to develop the watershed restoration plan designed to clean up Lake Mattamuskeet which was approved by the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality on Aug. 7.

The plan sets out a blueprint for addressing water quality and flooding issues that affect the lake and surrounding lands. The watershed restoration plan and information about the planning process can be found at nccoast.org/lakemattamuskeet.