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! Runoff Rundown is now monthly! To read the new August 2014 issue CLICK HERE!
Read the June 2014 Watershed Science Bulletin! Click here!
The latest blog from SWEMA and Gene LeManna urges a more balanced approach of green and grey in stormwater treatment.
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.
Onancock parking lot soaks up rain for a cleaner creek. Learn More...
Other Center Websites
- 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
- 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