R.W. Skaggs and G.M Chescheir

Field and modeling research is being conducted on a large coastal watershed to determine cumulative effects of land use and management practices on water quality and pollutant loading. Hydrology and water quality measurements of data on different land uses are being made on a 8100 ha watershed, and used to test and further develop watershed-scale simulation models. Results will be used to prepare guidelines for improving 


  • To determine pollutant loading at strategic locations and the changes in water
    quality that occur within the drainage canal and stream network of a large
    watershed containing a mixture of land uses, soils, crops and BMPs.
  • To select, further develop, and validate simulation models for predicting hydrology, in-stream water quality, and pollutant loading from coastal watersheds.
  • To link in-stream water quality models with field-scale models for predicting effects of water table management and fertility practices. This will allow prediction of cumulative impacts of land uses and BMPs on water quality and pollutant loading at the outlet.
  • To analyze the watershed data and apply the simulation models to evaluate effects of land uses and BMPs, and their distribution within the watershed, on the hydrology and water quality at the outlet.
  • To integrate results from the watershed and simulation studies to develop
    recommended coastal watershed management practices for agriculture, forestry and animal waste utilization which maximizes water quality and provides
    acceptable yields for the producers.



The project area is located near the town of Plymouth in Washington county in eastern North Carolina. The watershed, shown in the Gray Image of Aerial Photograph, comprises of about 8100 ha of drained agricultural, managed and unmanaged forested lands, natural wetland, and part of semiurban developments in the north-eastern part. 


Biological& Agricultural Engineering Department, NCSU ,Raleigh, NC
Soil Science Department, NCSU, Raleigh, NC
Weyerhaeuser Company, New Bern , NC
United States Geological Survey (USGS)
USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS)
NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR)