Collaborative Research to Manage Stormwater Impacts on Coastal Reserves

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Description: Like many older towns along the east coast, Beaufort, North Carolina grew at a faster pace than its stormwater and wastewater infrastructure. Stormwater outfalls that discharge into coastal waters have detrimental impacts on human and ecosystem health, and stormwater runoff often results in elevated levels of pathogens and nutrients, which can lead to fishing and swimming closures, illnesses, and negative impacts on coastal ecosystems. To better understand the effects of stormwater, a project team based at the Rachel Carson component of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve used a comprehensive sampling regimen to gather quantitative information that helped them assess the effects of precipitation and tidal inundation on stormwater impacts, and identify sources of fecal contamination.

In this webinar, members of the project team discuss the technical and collaborative aspects of their approach, including the sampling regimen and how their engagement approach resulted in a decision-maker summit and citizen science app that fosters ongoing community engagement on stormwater issues.

Presenters: Dr. Rachel Noble is a land-water interface scientist who specializes in understanding the interactions between wastewater and stormwater infrastructure, coastal regions, and water quality, particularly in low lying coastal areas. Whitney Jenkins has been the coordinator of the North Carolina Coastal Training Program since 2002.

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