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Jack's Creek watershed funnels most of Washington's stormwater into the Pamlico River.

If you live in the City of Washington, you may want to take part in a new survey asking for on-the-ground information about the Jack’s Creek watershed.

Jack’s Creek watershed drains a large area of the city, from just north of 15th Street to the Tar-Pamlico River to the south, from some areas west of U.S. 17 Business to east of Jack’s Creek.

“We’re looking for concerns, specific issues such as erosion, flooding, polluted water, and to get a sense of how folks interact with the watershed — do they use it for recreation? Do they just live there? We’d like to find out how important different issues are to people, like minimizing invasive species, reducing trash — what’s the biggest concern to these folks in the watershed?” said Clay Barber, Sound Rivers’ program director.

For more than a year, Clay has been working with the Mid-East Commission and the City of Washington on a 9-Element Watershed Restoration Plan for the Jack’s Creek watershed. With GIS mapping of impervious surfaces and existing stormwater networks, along with an inventory of businesses and land uses within the watershed completed, now project partners are reaching out to the public for their input.

“We want to do work that is a welcome service to the people in the community; we want to know what is important to them and what they see every day that maybe we don’t,” Clay said. “It’s an ideal opportunity to have some ownership in a waterway that belongs to everybody, and everybody includes those most susceptible to impacts from flooding and poor water quality in Jack’s Creek.”

Clay’s work is instrumental in identifying potential green stormwater infrastructure projects that could be funded because of the watershed plan.

“Looking at the Jack’s Creek greenway area, we’re looking for opportunities for recreational tourism. That’s where most of the watershed is in plain view — that’s where all the fruits of our labor are going to be seen, down there,” Clay said. “What you see down there right now is all the trash.”

You can fill out the survey here. A Spanish version of the survey can be found here.

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