GREENVILLE, N.C. (WNCT) — Projects to improve the quality of our waterways continue across Eastern North Carolina.

Pitt County is receiving funding from a new rehabilitation program that will work to remove debris from rivers.

This is a new program from the state, and Pitt County Soil and Water Conservation officials said they are receiving $414,000 to remove storm debris from the 100-year floodplain, which they said is crucial for crops and infrastructure.

“Well we’re a growing county, and being in the Coastal Plain, drainage is a vital part of our community,” said Pitt County Soil and Water Conservation Director PJ Andrews.

He said because of our susceptibility to hurricanes, stormwater management is always a priority.

“Without state funding, we would not be able to do these projects, it is vital because, you know, the more debris comes down, the more water it floods,” said Andrews.

He explained that clearing debris is huge when it comes to preventing flooding.

“What happens, is when the trees come down and sediment, and if you get a big rush of rain or water at one time, the trees will kind of backup the sediment into the canals and different streams,” said Andrews.

Andrews said flooding is a very serious problem.

“Well, you get flooding infrastructure. That’s infrastructure can be homes, houses, but it can also be farmers’ crops as well, which is their livelihood, as well. So it’s very important that we keep our main channels open and clear,” Andrews said.

Phase one of the project will focus on Conetoe Creek, just north of the Tar River. Andrews said more projects will continue throughout the area as funding will be ongoing.

“The more we’re urbanizing here in Pitt County, the more we’re seeing more flooding, you know, and we have to be able to maintain and correct that,” said Andrews.

Work is scheduled to begin by next month. Andrews said this first project should take about six months.