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.
The Winter 2014 issue of Runoff Rundown has arrived! Read now...
Latest Watershed Science Bulletin
available. CWPA members must log in to read.
Read the new blog about BMP Performance Evaluation from Derek Berg and the Stormwater Equipment Manufacturers Association.
Need to develop an IDDE program? Read the guidance.
NEW! 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.
Maryland “Rain Tax” Debunked: Stormwater Fees are Common, Equitable Way to Pay for Reducing Polluted Runoff. Learn More...
Other Center Websites
- CWP is Hiring a Water Resources Engineer
- Panelists focus on the changing, more stringent regulations for stormwater management and the new ecological stormwater era
- Center for Watershed Protection Awarded Gold-Level GuideStar Exchange Participant
- Hye Yeong Kwon Graduates from Leadership Maryland- Class of 2013
- The BUBBAs are coming!
- Chesapeake Bay Program approved new stream restoration protocols for estimating sediment and nutrient load reductions
- Center for Watershed Protection Appoints Scarfone as New Board Member