The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission regularly works with engineers and hydrologists with the N.C. Department of Transportation to reduce the impacts of road and highway construction on streams and wetlands. Part of this work consists of environmental document preparation and permit reviews. The work is conducted largely by the Commission's Habitat Conservation Program which comments on road design and suggests ways to reduce impacts to streams and wetlands. The Habitat Conservation Program also provides guidance on stream and wetland mitigation.
When a stream's base-flow channel was directed through three culvert barrels, this created a problem for fish and other aquatic organisms due to the drop outlet and a wide, shallow stream channel below the culvert.
Biologists with the Commission's Habitat Conservation Program corrected the problem by constructing a floodplain bench and rock weir downstream of the culvert. This restored the stream to its pre-construction width and depth through the culvert.
Below are links to some informative websites that explain and provide examples of stream and wetland mitigation work. Also included are links to other North Carolina agencies that help manage our natural resources. Brief summaries of the information found at each site are also provided. Accuracy of the information found on these linked websites is the responsibility of the respective sources and not the Commission.
Clean Water Management Trust Fund
An agency of the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources, the Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) was established by the General Assembly in 1996 to fund projects that: 1) enhance or restore degraded waters, 2) protect unpolluted waters, and/or 3) contribute toward a network of riparian buffers and greenways for environmental, educational, and recreational benefits. Printable grant applications and guidelines are available online.
Click http://www.cwmtf.net/ for more information.
EPA's River Corridor And Wetland Restoration Program
The Environmental Protection Agency provides information to help define restoration, explain why restoration is important, what restoration work is currently being conducted, and where more restoration information can be obtained.
In addition, the EPA website has an order form for the book Stream Corridor Restoration: Principles, Processes, and Practices (produced by the Federal Interagency Stream Corridor Restoration Working Group, 10/98).
Click http://www.epa.gov/owow/wetlands/restore/ for more information.
FishXing software assists engineers, hydrologists and fish biologists design and evaluate culverts for fish passage. FishXing software is compatible with Win95/98/2000 or NT.
The most recent update is FishXing 2.0 which, among other features, allows users to compare multiple culverts designs within a single project, calculate hydraulic conditions within circular, box, pipe-arch, open-bottom arch, and embedded culverts, and produce tables and graphs summarizing the water velocities, water depths, outlet conditions. The output also lists the limiting fish passage conditions for each culvert design.
Click http://www.stream.fs.fed.us/fishxing/ for more information.
Natural Resources Conservation Service
The Natural Resources Conservation Service, a component of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, provides leadership in a partnership effort to help people conserve, maintain, and improve our natural resources and environment. Information on the Natural Resources Conservation Service website is somewhat more basic than some of the other links provided within this article, but it does help the lay public understand the functions and values of wetlands. Topics include, among others, "Where The Wetlands Are," "Not All Wetlands Are Alike," and "Wetlands Are Busy Places."
Click http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/ for more information.
N.C. Division of Land Resources
The Division of Land Resources promotes the wise use and protection of North Carolina's land and geologic resources through scientific investigations and maps of the N.C. Geological Survey, and through the mining, dam safety, and sedimentation control programs of the Division's Land Quality Section. The Division seeks to allow development within North Carolina while preventing pollution from sedimentation, to prevent property damage, personal injury and loss of life from the failure of dams, and to provide for the mining of mineral resources while ensuring the usefulness, productivity and scenic value of all lands and waters in the state.
Click http://www.dlr.enr.state.nc.us/dlr.htm for more information.
N.C. Division of Parks and Recreation
North Carolina's state park system includes 33 state parks, four recreation areas and numerous natural areas from the mountains to the sea. In maintaining these recreational areas and parks, the Division of Parks and Recreation is charged with "protecting and managing the natural and cultural resources within the state parks system," which is accomplished through the Division's Resource Management Program.
Click http://ncparks.gov/ for more information.
N.C. Division Of Water Resources
This Division administers programs for river basin management, rivers assessment, water supply assistance, water conservation, and water resources development. The Division conducts special studies on instream flow needs and serves as North Carolina's liaison with federal agencies on major water resources related projects. The Division also administers two environmental education outreach programs, Stream Watch and Project WET.
Click http://www.dwr.ehnr.state.nc.us/home.htm for more information.
N.C. Division Of Water Quality
The N.C. Division of Water Quality (DWQ) in the Department of Environment and Natural Resources is the agency responsible for statewide regulatory programs in groundwater and surface water protection.
One of DWQ's five sections is the Wetlands Restoration Program, a non-regulatory program established to restore wetlands, streams and streamside (riparian) areas throughout the state. The Wetlands Restoration Program page includes links to useful information about restoring wetlands, streams and buffers in North Carolina. The links fall under three categories: 1) Permits and Guidelines, 2) Design, and 3) Monitoring.
Click http://h2o.enr.state.nc.us/ for more information.
N.C. Sea Grant
The North Carolina Sea Grant College Program molds the university functions of research, education and outreach into a program focused on the needs of agencies, people and businesses responsible for coastal and marine resources. Thirty Sea Grant programs are linked and described on the Sea Grant website covering three main areas: 1) Economic Leadership, 2) Coastal Ecosystem Health and Public Safety, and 3) Education and Human Resources.
Click http://www.ncsu.edu/seagrant/ for more information.
NCSU Water Quality Group
The North Carolina State University (NCSU) Water Quality Group is a multidisciplinary team that analyzes and conducts natural resource management programs with an emphasis on nonpoint source (NPS) pollution policy, assessment, and control technologies. A component of the N.C. Cooperative Extension Service and the NCSU Biological and Agricultural Engineering Department, the Water Quality Group enhances NCSU's water quality programs by acting as a center for water quality information and technical assistance on natural resources and waste management, with an emphasis on NPS pollution issues from agriculture, forestry, urban land uses, construction, and on-site wastewater systems.
Click http://www5.bae.ncsu.edu/programs/extension/wqg/ for more information.
N.C. Stream Restoration Institute
The North Carolina Stream Restoration Institute seeks to improve the aquatic health and stability of North Carolina streams through applied research, demonstration projects and education.
The Institute's website includes, among other features, a listserv that is open to professionals from government agencies, consulting firms, citizen groups, and academic institutions with interest in stream hydrology and restoration. In addition, the Institute provides summaries of restoration projects being conducted on the Watauga River, Mitchell River, Long Creek, Upper French Broad River, East Prong Roaring River (Stone Mountain State Park), and Rocky Branch.
Click http://www.bae.ncsu.edu/programs/extension/wqg/sri/RCinfo.htm for more information.
U.S. Geological Survey
The USGS is the science agency for the Department of the Interior. Its vast earth and biological data holdings make the USGS an excellent resource for accessing information and gaining an understanding about complex natural resource problems. Water-related programs found within the USGS website include the Cooperative Water Program, National Streamflow Information Program, National Water Quality Assessment Program, Toxic Substances Hydrology (Toxics) Program, Ground Water Resources Program, State Water Resources Research Institute Program, and National Research Program.
In addition, the USGS website features educational information for school-aged children about Water. Visitors of all ages can find basic information on many aspects of water, along with pictures, data, maps, and an interactive center.
Click http://www.usgs.gov/ for more information.