The coast attracts tourists, retirees, and is home to over 53% of the US population. Historically, coastal urban development was carried out in high density build out scenarios that increase impervious cover, reducing natural landscapes that would buffer waterways from the excess pollution. Coastal watersheds have unique ecosystems, services, and considerations compared to upland watersheds and better management tools are needed to safeguard the sensitive natural habitats, commodities, and people that live, work, and visit the coast.
Coasts are valued for their fishing, swimming, and shoreline views. These basic commodities are threatened by excess nutrients (bacteria, nitrogen, and others) that close shellfish beds, damage coral reefs, and cause beach closures. A few common coastal concerns are substantial erosion, flooding and inundation, coastal wetland loss, invasive species, salt water intrusion, and septic system failures. Additionally, managers contend with the high water table levels, flat terrain, unique soil types (e.g., well drained sand), highly altered drainage systems, and more stringent coastal regulations. Coastal watersheds experience extreme weather event stressors such as hurricanes, storm surge, land subsidence, and sea level rise that can cause catastrophic flooding and damage. Coastal watershed management must incorporate better coastal management strategies to provide protection for current and future stresses such as sea level rise and other coastal hazards.
To assist coastal watershed managers, we’ve developed the Coastal Plain Watershed Information Center, which includes a set of tools and resources tailored to address these concerns. The Information Center was developed for the Atlantic Coastal Plain, but many of the tools are broadly applicable to all coastal areas, or to non-coastal areas with similar environmental and development characteristics.
NEW! Read the July 2015 issue of the
Watershed Science Bulletin. Click Here!
Zombie Invasion! When plants attack...
Read the March 2015 issue
of Runoff Rundown CLICK HERE!
How much do you know about the stormwater fees and how they help protect our watersheds? Read the article and then check out our white paper:
Need to develop an IDDE program?
Read the guidance.
Two versions of the Watershed Treatment Model (WTM) released to help users estimate benefits from a wide range of stormwater runoff and pollutant removal practices. Download your FREE COPY of the WTM and User's guide.
- Center Staff Published in Sustain- A Journal of Environmental and Sustainability Issues
- May 2015 Watershed Science Bulletin Available
- Center Awarded an Innovative Nutrient and Sediment Reduction Grant
- Clean Water Certification & Workforce Development
- Center receives EPA funding to restore Proctor Creek Watershed in Atlanta
- How to "credit" trees for runoff and pollutant load reduction
- Onancock parking lot soaks up rain for a cleaner creek