The town’s impervious surfaces have increased over the years, impacting lands’ ability to absorb rainwater.
Atlantic Beach’s Watershed Restoration and Stormwater Resilience Plan has been approved by the state of North Carolina.
This comes after a collaborative planning effort to address flooding and polluted runoff caused by heavy rains, reported The Coastal Review.
According to The Coastal Review, the town’s impervious surfaces have increased over the years, impacting lands’ ability to absorb rainwater. The plan will identify and target sites to improve infiltration and provide strategies to reduce flooding and improve water quality.
The North Carolina Coastal Federation, GPI Engineering and the Eastern Carolina Council of Governments partnered with the town to develop the plan funded by the state Division of Water Resources 205(j) program.
According to the plan, the watersheds have experienced increased volumes of storm water runoff, and the storm water runoff can transport harmful bacteria and other contaminants into surrounding water bodies. The watersheds have also experienced flooding in residential areas as a result of the storm water runoff.
“What we’re trying to do with this watershed restoration plan is turn back the clock to mimic the natural hydrology of Atlantic Beach and increase infiltration of the rain. Increasing the infiltration of storm water will not only improve water quality but also improves the Town’s storm water resilience,” said Jonathan Hinkle, professional engineer and project consultant with GPI, reported The Coastal Review.
The plan was reviewed by the North Carolina Division of Water Resources to ensure it met criteria established by the EPA for watershed plan development. According to The Coastal Review, formal approval was granted and the town can now apply for implementation funding from the state’s 319 grant program. The town is also reviewing additional funding sources.