Sound Rivers, Environmental Alliance club team up for a wetland cleanup

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

Posted on February 29th, 2024

Savannah Trower and Attila Nemecz remove plastic sheeting from Beaufort County Community College's constructed wetland.

Sound Rivers Program Director Clay Barber met up with Beaufort County Community College’s Environmental Alliance Club for a wetland cleanup on Wednesday.

Students Teimy Perez Hernandez, Savannah Trower and Sahsha Gibbs along with club advisor and BCCC Director of Marketing and Public Relations Attila Nemecz took a break from classes to get an education in constructed wetlands and their care.

Teimy Perez Hernandez cuts back plants that could interfere with how well the constructed wetland works.

The club members picked up trash carried into the wetland by wind or stormwater and cut back plants that could potentially interfere with the work of the wetland, while Clay removed decaying wetland plants poised to block the flow of water from the wetland into a stream that ultimately leads to Broad Creek and the Pamlico River.

“The wetland is in good shape, and that’s largely because the college and the Environmental Alliance Club partner with us to maintain its function,” Clay said. “They’re dedicated to keeping it working, which means water is moved off the campus’ impervious surfaces like rooftops and parking lots. It pools in the wetland and is absorbed by plants and pollutants are filtered out — what remains is clean water that flows into the stream. It also provides a little ecosystem for local critters.”

Sound Rivers Program Director Clay Barber removes decaying organic matter that could block the wetland’s outfall.

The constructed wetland, located next to the Continuing Education Building, was completed in 2020, and is one of many Sound Rivers projects completed as part of its Campus Stormwater Program.

Also noted was the wetland’s new growth — a sign of spring — as well as the abundance of cattail. Cattails tend to takeover in such environments, so Clay’s making plans to remove the cattails (a complicated process) to let other native species thrive.

Want to tour BCCC’s wetland with Clay? Click the link below!

Environmental Alliance Club advisor Attila Nemecz cuts back growth along the bank of the wetland.
Sahsha Gibbs fills up a bag with garbage from the wetland.
Program Director Clay Barber points out some of the vegetation that needs to be trimmed.
And more garbage that doesn’t belong in the wetland.
Attila Nemecz, Savannah Trower and Teimy Perez Hernandez remove trash that has washed or blown into the wetland.
Signs of spring green in the wetland.
Next project: cattail removal.

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