OCEAN – This year, the Town of Swansboro and the North Carolina Coastal Federation will continue their partnership to work for clean coastal waters. Plans are in the works to reduce polluted runoff entering Ward Creek from an existing street end outfall. The team will design and install an infiltration chamber at the public right-of way on Walnut St. that will collect and absorb rain before it is discharged into Ward Creek.

This project is supported by a grant to the federation by the N.C. Division of Water Resources’ USEPA Section 319 Water Quality Program. Past funding from EPA supported a permeable parking lot, rain gardens and cisterns. In addition, a similar stormwater project is currently underway at Ward Shore Park where a series of eight permeable parking stalls will soon be installed. 

 All of these measures are steps in implementing Swansboro’s watershed restoration plan. The plan includes strategies for reducing polluted runoff by mimicking the natural hydrology of the landscape, allowing rain to soak into the ground instead of collecting it in pipes and discharging it to area surface waters.

“As land owner of the project site, we are eager to continue our partnership to restore our local watersheds and reduce impaired waters adjacent to the town,” said Town Manager Chris Seaberg. “This project is a fitting model for bringing together community leaders, engineers, area residents, nonprofits, and state and local agencies to match up a local capital improvement project with a watershed protection strategy.”

“This year, we will design the infiltration basin. It will ultimately reduce the runoff volume entering Ward Creek and subsequently the White Oak River by 35,900 gallons per average rain event, which adds up to capturing almost 2 million gallons of runoff per year that would have otherwise dumped pollutants into Ward Creek,” said Bree Charron, federation coastal specialist.

The project will not only reduce runoff, but will also serve as a public demonstration site showcasing nature-based stormwater strategies that promote infiltration of rain instead of runoff.

The North Carolina Coastal Federation works with local governments, businesses and coastal communities to embrace nature-based stormwater strategies to reduce flooding, improve water quality and help balance economic development with natural resource management. To learn more about our work for clean water visit, https://www.nccoast.org/protect-the-coast/stormwater