A Coordinated Prioritization of North Carolina Coastal Waters and Stormwater Outfalls as Part of NCDOT’s Stormwater Inventory and Prioritization Program
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North Carolina’s coastal areas face new and increasing challenges characterized by swimming advisories, shellfish closures, and an overall degraded quality of life due to water quality degradation. These challenges arise in part as a consequence of development of water-adjacent land and associated infrastructure. Increasing impervious surface exacerbates stormwater runoff, the leading cause of water quality degradation in the state. Through the development of a coordinated prioritization, transportation infrastructure planning can target waters of greatest importance threatened by pollutant runoff. This project incorporates data from multiple state agencies to develop a coastal waters and stormwater outfalls prioritization for the North Carolina Department of Transportation’s Stormwater Inventory Program and other management plans. The prioritization system described herein will be submitted to the NC Division of Water Quality by the NCDOT as partial compliance with the field outfall inventory requirements mandated in its Phase I NPDES stormwater permit (NCS000250). The system is designed to serve as a tool for guiding the allocation of NCDOT resources for restoring coastal water quality affected by roadway runoff. Through effective planning and resource allocation, North Carolina can maintain its identity as a desirable place to live with “Crystal Coast” beaches, wetlands, and oyster roasts using our local oysters.
DepartmentNicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
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