Feedback needed for Jack’s Creek plans, projects

Environmental, Flooding, Sound Rivers, Stormwater, Stormwater Issues, Stormwater Restoration Projects, Stormwater Runoff, Tar-Pamlico Watershed, Water Quality

Posted on April 11th, 2024

Sound Rivers and the City of Washington are looking for feedback on what to do with water.

On May 2, they’re teaming up for an open house at the Washington Civic Center to present the ideas and projects they’ve determined could best help the Jack’s Creek watershed — in terms of water quality, flood mitigation and more.

“We’re want to get feedback from the community as to what they think of the projects we’ve come up with, what they that think are issues with the water,” said Sound Rivers Program Director Clay Barber. “We want people to hear the ideas we’re pitching and hear ideas from other people.”

For the past year, Clay has been working with the City and the Mid-East Commission on a Jack’s Creek 9-Element Watershed Restoration Plan to map out the watershed: its stormwater system, impervious surfaces, and how it floods, to determine what changes should be made or what stormwater projects implemented to better handle stormwater and improve water quality. Stormwater from nearly 2 square miles of Washington drains into Jack’s Creek, a tributary of the Pamlico River.

The proposed projects are wide-ranging: removal of pavement where it no longer serves a purpose (example, large, unused parking lots returned to grassy areas or rain gardens); “really intentional” use of plants known to take in lots of nutrients in the perimeter around the city dog park; rainwater harvesting cisterns collecting runoff from rooftops.

“The point of the plan is to have shovel-ready projects to go after funding for,” Clay said. “If we want the City to act on these projects, in order for that to happen, the community needs to be excited and supportive, and the city needs to be excited about it. Then we can go out and find funding.”

Partners on the 9-Element Watershed Plan, including East Carolina University’s Water Resources Center, N.C. State, the Mid-East Commission and the City will all have a presence at the open house to share information about their roles in the watershed plan.

“We want people who live in the watershed to come out, people who visit it and people who care about the river, because that’s where it all ends up anyway,” Clay said.

The open house will be held from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. May 2 at the Washington Civic Center. The public is invited.

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