There are no easy answers to cure the pollution problems that plague our coastal waters. Degradation of water quality took decades to occur and is caused by modifications to the landscape. Buildings, highways, parking lots, yards, farms and drained forests prevent rain from soaking into the ground. When downpours occur, our cities, subdivisions and fields can generate large volumes of runoff contaminated with sediment, bacteria, pathogens, chemicals and nutrients. About 25 percent of coastal shellfishing waters are polluted with bacteria, and most of the coast is now off-limits to shellfishing and swimming after big rain events.
In our efforts to protect and restore coastal waters the federation will:
- Promote watershed restoration plans that target the volume of runoff that must be eliminated to restore water quality and identify cost-effective pollution reduction projects.
- Protect high priority shellfish growing waters by petitioning for a water quality management plan for areas like the Newport River.
- Clean up impaired waters with cost-effective stormwater retrofits in urban areas an on converted wetland tracks.
- Improve the maintenance of existing stormwater systems by promoting a budgeting tool for stormwater permit holders.
- Promote low impact development (LID) among state, design professionals, developers and homeowners.
- Organize LID training workshops for professionals.
Advancing low-impact development
The federation brings together partners in urban and rural landscapes to use low-impact development (LID) techniques that slow down the flow of stormwater runoff and let it to soak into the ground. LID includes stormwater design techniques that infiltrate, filter, store and evaporate runoff. Instead of directing stormwater to ditches, pipes and ponds, LID maintains a landscape that captures and absorbs rain before it has a chance to become polluted runoff.
Using a variety of approaches, we work to promote and implement stormwater management programs at the state and local levels. By educating and assisting regional property owners, coastal communities and farmers, we are advancing LID as the next generation of stormwater management.
The North Carolina Coastal Federation has developed a working map of sites along the North Carolina coast where stormwater projects have been completed. This map features descriptions, photos, funding agencies and more. Click on the various sites below and check back for new additions.