Improve Coastal Water Quality & Reduce Flooding
Intense rainstorms cause flooding and water quality degradation as the runoff funnels pollutants to our coastal waters. Impacts are magnified by the altered landscape that channels rain instead of absorbing it.
The Nature-based Stormwater Strategies Action Plan released by the Coastal Federation in 2021 recommends specific policies and actions to reduce pollution and flooding caused by new land development; existing development and infrastructure; highways and streets; and working lands such as farms and commercial forests.
Throughout 2023 we will continue to recruit and cultivate diverse partners to provide effective leadership needed to implement this plan and achieve state and local government policies and commitment to promoting the use of nature-based stormwater strategies.
In addition, recently approved actions in the updated Coastal Habitat Protection Plan position us to further encourage nature-based stormwater strategies that concurrently improve water quality and reduce flooding, since they also protect and restore fish habitats. Working to implement these two key plans will advance nature-based strategies for managing rain storms mainstream.
We will also prepare watershed management plans in priority watersheds of Stump Sound and Newport River to serve as the foundation for replicating and restoring natural hydrology. Urban stormwater reduction demonstration projects not only reduce critical volumes of runoff, but also help provide key examples and case studies that demonstrate success and facilitate new approaches to manage stormwater on future projects. In 2022 we installed stormwater reduction demonstration projects in Pine Knoll Shores, Swansboro, and Wilmington to substantially reduce the volume of runoff. Additional work will restore and replicate wetland hydrology on working lands and conserve natural lands to hold back billions of gallons of runoff.
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.
LID Stormwater Projects
Large Scale Watershed Restoration Projects
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 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.