The North Carolina Coastal Federation informs and unites people, communities, businesses and government agencies to form effective partnerships. Achieving long-lasting results by finding common ground among diverse groups of people, forming unlikely alliances, and recruiting nontraditional partners is key to the organization’s success. Thousands of acres of special lands and waters along our coast have been restored and protected by the Coastal Federation since 1982. Many of these properties serve as laboratories for scientific investigations, classrooms for education, and for public access and recreation.
In December of 2017, construction crews broke ground on a stormwater reduction project at Blockade Runner Beach Resort on Wrightsville Beach that will redirect runoff from recreational waters to a new system that will infiltrate and reuse it for irrigation. A similar project is currently underway in the area near the Hanover Seaside Club, located further south on the island. Jessica Gray, Coastal Outreach Associate for the Coastal Federation’s Southeast Regional Office, met with Cape Fear Caller recently to talk about the benefits of these projects.
The drainage systems are being redesigned and reconstructed to capture runoff and filter out any sediment, ultimately improving the quality of Banks Channel. The new system designs allow for unused overflow to be stored in an underground infiltration system and to seep through the natural sandy soils rather than into the channel. At the Blockade Runner runoff is being redirected to a temporary storage chamber and being reused for landscaping, reducing the resort’s use of public drinking water for irrigation by twenty-five percent.
Over fifteen innovative stormwater reduction projects led by the federation have been completed on Wrightsville Beach. These projects are designed to implement the Bradley and Hewletts Creeks Watershed Restoration Plan, funded in part by the North Carolina Environmental Enhancement Grant Program. To find out more about the North Carolina Coastal Federation and how you can support their efforts, please visit the organization’s website. In addition, you can find more about the Coastal Federation’s Walk the Loop for Clean Water tour, which is a mile-long self-guided tour of stormwater projects that the federation and its partners constructed along the John Nesbitt Loop on Wrightsville Beach by clicking here.