CALS Biological & Agricultural Engineers and Agricultural Economists have received a grant of $203,775 from the NC Department of Environment & Natural Resources (DNER) for Phase II of a project in Cary, NC. Phase I created rain gardens and other rainwater harvesting systems at schools. The next phase of the project will focus on stormwater controls along greenways and in community parks.
Project researchers are economists, Dr. Christy Perrin, Dr. Patrick Beggs & Dr. Layra Taylor, and engineers, Dr. Kristopher Bass & Dr. William Hunt, III.
Here's how the researchers describe their project:
"The Black Creek Watershed Association (BCWA), coordinated by NC State University with technical assistance from the Town of Cary since 2006, has achieved several milestones in its pursuit of delisting Black Creek from the 303(d) list of impaired waters.
"An initial watershed assessment and restoration plan was completed in 2009, followed by acceptance of the plan by EPA in lieu of a TMDL. The assessment showed that the creek is impaired by high volume and velocity stormwater runoff flows that have altered the natural flow regime and negatively impacted biotic communities. The partnership created a residential outreach and engagement program that resulted in many residential practices that are reducing stormwater runoff through backyard raingardens, and wetlands.
"Public stormwater retrofits have been installed at schools, a neighborhood clubhouse, and a private greenway. In-stream flow monitoring and modeling produced 3 years of data and a hydrologic model for assessing target runoff reductions. This proposal will leverage successes achieved to reach a new significant landowner audience- commercial and institutional landowners.
"BCWA is known through public outreach events and networking with members' organizations (Rotary clubs, homeowners' associations). The network will help to convene a commercial/institutional steering committee to develop and implement an outreach, sponsorship, and recognition program. A retrofit project will be identified and implemented on a commercial property, and retrofits that were previously identified within the project BMP Site Atlas will be constructed on Town of Cary and Wake County schools properties. Simple changes to existing bioretention will be installed and monitored to increase infiltration.
"Additional stream flow monitoring and modeling will further hone a retrofit target by testing pre-post BMP flows, and will test a new milestone of disconnecting 200 acres of imperviousness to reach effective 10% impervious cover in the watershed. Ultimately, this project will lead to a greater capacity of the community to fund and implement stormwater retrofit projects, and to better understand the type and cost of retrofits needed to move towards a more natural stream flow regime."