Funds awarded to develop engineered plans for active water management within Lake Mattamuskeet watershed

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(WNCT) A $158,000 planning grant was awarded to Hyde County from the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund on September 13 in Raleigh.

The funding will enable Hyde County to advance the next steps of their recently approved Lake Mattamuskeet Watershed Restoration Plan.

With the funding, Hyde will contract with the North Carolina Coastal Federation, a 501(c)(3) conservation non-profit, and an engineering firm.

The team will provide professional services to continue public engagement and complete engineering and design work to develop active water management within the Lake Mattamuskeet watershed.

“Hyde County is extremely honored to have been chosen by the CWMTF for funding,” says Daniel Brinn, water and flood control coordinator for Hyde County. This award will not only forward our goals of a better, healthier Lake Mattamuskeet in the future, but it also validates the time and effort invested by all our committed partners up to this point.”

The scope of work specifically focuses on completing the engineering and design work necessary to permit a future project.

It is anticipated that the engineered project will involve redirecting water that is currently discharged to the lake and instead routing it through restored wetlands.

The engineering work will balance both improvements to water quality within the lake and reductions in flooding throughout the watershed.

Another outcome of the project will be the completion of a watershed-scale hydrologic and hydraulic model.

This model will refine the current understanding of the amount of water within the watershed that needs to be managed and how it moves given the landscape features.

This model will serve as a valuable tool for evaluating numerous other projects and policies identified in the Lake Mattamuskeet Watershed Restoration Plan.

Hyde County, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission partnered with the federation and community members to develop the watershed restoration plan designed to clean up Lake Mattamuskeet, which was approved by N.C. Department of Environmental Quality on August 7.

The plan sets out a blueprint for addressing water quality and flooding issues that affect the lake and surrounding lands.

The initial priority actions of the watershed restoration plan concentrate on establishing active water-level management capabilities throughout the watershed.

This includes creating a formal body that provides management authority in the County, such as a service district, to oversee water management within the watershed in close coordination with the Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge.

Engineering studies will identify and evaluate designs to divert water to existing or restored wetlands, where nutrients and sediment can be absorbed before sheet flowing towards a water body.

The watershed restoration plan and information about the planning process can be found at nccoast.org/lakemattamuskeet.

Interested community members can also offer comments and sign up for email updates and notifications about future public meetings on the web page.

Questions about the watershed restoration plan can be directed to Michael Flynn, coastal advocate for the federation’s Northeast office in Wanchese, at michaelf@nccoast.org or 252-473-1607.

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