NC State University Stream Restoration Program

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Stream Restoration Program


Robeson Creek Watershed Restoration

Chatham County, NC

The Robeson Creek watershed lies within the Upper Cape Fear watershed in Chatham County, North Carolina and encompasses 28.6 square miles of mostly rural forested land.  Much of the land use is forest with pasture, cultivated crops and urban land, though the watershed is currently experiencing the beginnings of suburban housing development.  Pittsboro, a small town of approximately 2500 citizens, is located within the heart of the watershed. This watershed serves as a water supply source to Jordan Lake, a major water supplier to the Triangle Area of North Carolina.

Robeson Creek, its tributaries, and Town Lake, an impoundment of Robeson Creek are impaired for excessive nutrients (Total Phosphorus), biological degradation, and aquatic weeds. A TMDL for total phosphorus was developed by the North Carolina Division of Water Quality (DWQ) for Robeson Creek in 2003 as a result of chlorophyll a violations in the Robeson Creek Cove of Jordan Lake. DWQ is currently writing a management plan for the aquatic weed infestation in Town Lake and a TMDL for biological impairments will be developed in upcoming years.

Efforts to restore the water quality within the Robeson Creek Watershed have taken place through numerous water quality initiatives. The Robeson Creek Watershed Council (RCWC), which includes members of federal, state and local agencies as well as local businesses, landowners and non-profit groups, meets quarterly to discuss issues in the watershed and ways to address them. With EPA Section 319 funding, the NCSU Water Quality Group wrote a TMDL Implementation Plan for the phosphorous TMDL. This document recommends specific actions within subwatersheds to help improve water quality and reduce pollutant loads. With the same funding, NCSU performed a watershed assessment in 2003 to further determine pollutant sources and critical areas for BMP installation. Using an additional Section 319 grant, NCSU is currently implementing BMPs in the watershed to help meet the TMDL goals of 71 percent reduction of Total Phosphorous (TP). BMPs are concentrating on the Little Creek subwatershed, which is the most urban and stormwater impacted of the Robeson Creek tributaries.

The NCSU Water Quality Group also obtained funding from the Clean Water Management Trust Fund (CWMTF) to perform a feasibility study of Pittsboro Lake. This study defined options for restoring the lake’s water quality and habitat. The Haw River Assembly (HRA) has been granted Section 319 funding for its Stream Steward Campaign in this watershed. HRA developed a stream stewardship guidebook for landowners, performed stream assessments within the watershed, surveyed local business and gave awards for good stream stewardship, and have hosted several workshops for landowner education regarding water quality.

Newsletters and Project Reports :

Waterways Newsletter - Issue # 1, May 2003. Article titles include:

  • Robeson Creek Watershed Assessment Project
  • Robeson Creek TMDL Study
  • Robeson Creek Technical Advisory Committee - Working Towards Solutions
  • Haw River Assembly's Stream Steward Campaign on Robeson Creek

Waterways Newsletter - Issue # 2, Fall 2005. Article titles include:

  • Stormwater Management Practices Underway
  • Volunteers Plant a Riparian Barrier to Protect Little Creek
  • Town Lake Restoration Feasibility Study
  • Pittsboro Businesses Learn About Stream Stewardship

Waterways Newsletter - Issue # 3, Fall 2007. Article titles include:

  • Best Management Practices Installed Throughout Pittsboro
  • US EPA Visits the Robeson Creek Watershed
  • EPA Funding Continues for Robeson Creek Watershed Restoration
  • What's in a Name?
  • Town of Pittsboro and Others Receive Stream Stewardship Awards
  • Pittsboro Low Impact Development Workshop

Robeson Creek TMDL Implementation Plan

Robeson Creek Watershed Assessment

Robeson Creek TMDL Implementation Plan and Watershed Assessment - 319 Final Report

Town Lake Study

Town Lake Study PowerPoint Presentation (pdf file - 1116kb)

Robeson Creek Watershed Council brochure

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