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Watershed & Stormwater Issues

Our learning resources at the Waccamaw Watershed Academy include web pages to discover a variety of topics on Watershed and Stormwater issues.

Better Site Design

Better Site Design allows for larger watershed protection or restoration goals to be considered during the site design and review process. It is an approach to residential and commercial site design that seeks to:

  • Promote efficient land use and reduce sprawl
  • Provide high quality of life
  • Reduce the amount of impervious cover
  • Increase the natural lands set aside for conservation
  • Use pervious areas for more effective stormwater treatment
  • Reduce need for off-site stormwater treatment
  • Make watershed protection marketable and cost effective

The strategies of better site design include:

  • Maximizing road interconnectivity
  • Using smaller lot sizes
  • Using pervious concrete
Standard Site Design Better Site Design
‌Standard Site Design ‌Better Site Design

 Tips for Improving Local Water Quality

  • Limit paved or other impervious surfaces on your property and consider alternatives to solid concrete.
  • Don’t overuse fertilizers. Have your soil tested before applying fertilizer and know the specific needs of your plants.
  • Keep fertilizer off driveways and sidewalks where it will be washed into storm drains.
  • Do not apply fertilizer or pesticides if heavy rain is expected.
  • Use pesticides and herbicides according to label’s exact directions since they can be toxic to wildlife and can contaminate waterbodies.
  • Clean up after pets and dispose of waste in the trash or toilet.
  • Keep lawn clippings out of nearby ponds and streams.
  • Maintain motor vehicles and repair leaks promptly. Fluids like antifreeze, battery acid, brake fluid, gasoline and motor oil can pollute waterbodies.
  • Clean cars at commercial car washes or spray booths. Washing a car in the driveway sends soap and other debris into storm drains.
  • Direct roof and patio runoff onto lawn or flower beds and not directly into storm drains or ponds.
  • Reduce soil erosion by planting appropriate plant cover on bare patches of ground.
  • Encourage a vegetated buffer of native plants along the bank of ponds to control erosion and provide habitat for wildlife.
  • Reduce the water requirements of your landscaping by selecting plants suited to the local environment with minimal need for supplemental watering. Use drip irrigation or soaker hoses for supplemental watering. Consider mulching to reduce evaporation.

Pond in Murrell's Inlet

Hydrologic Cycle

Undisturbed Water Cycle

Undisturbed Water Cycle

Rainwater runs off the land into water bodies. It also percolates into the soil. Percolation recharges groundwater and filters pollutants. Through both pathways, water makes its way into our creeks, ponds, wetlands, rivers, and oceans.

Impacted Water Cycle

Impacted Water Cycle

Development puts impervious surfaces, roads, sidewalk, and roofs, that prevent percolation. Most of the rainwater runs off the land carrying pollutants into water bodies. Without percolation, flooding is more frequent and severe.

Stormwater

Stormwater carries pollutants off land. Pollutants come from:

  • Cars leaving petroleum residues and metals on roadways
  • Fertilizers, herbicides and pesticides applied to lawns, golf courses and farmlands
  • Land clearing
  • Broken sewer lines and leaking septic tanks
  • Animal wastes: pets, livestock, and wildlife
parking lot runoff golf course farmland

What We Can Do: Innovative Stormwater Treatment

Types of Stormwater Treatment

Three general approaches are used to prevent, reduce and eliminate polluted stormwater runoff and hence constitute acceptable measures for Phase II activities.

  1. Structural best management practices (BMPs) replicate the original water flow patterns, or hydrology, of the undeveloped land. This maximizes infiltration of stormwater so natural processes can remove pollutants. Examples are constructed wetlands, filter strips, grassy swales, and rain gardens.
  2. Use of nonstructural BMPs. Examples include environmental education and preservation of pervious surfaces through establishment of riparian buffers. Others include using lawn chemicals efficiently, fixing and maintaining septic tanks, and picking up pet wastes.
  3. Better Site Design focuses on alternatives to traditional construction practices. Examples include reducing the amount of impervious surface in a development by installing narrower roads, using cluster development layouts or pervious concrete.

Continued monitoring for compliance and effectiveness is required to ensure the ultimate success of all three approaches.

Constructed Wetlands: Ivy Glen

Original Stormwater Detention Pond

Ivy Glen 1 Ivy Glen 2 Ivy Glen 3

In South Carolina, holding ponds are used to prevent flooding from stormwater runoff. The are not designed for water quality control and are not very attractive.

Building a Constructed Wetland: A Multi-Pond System

constructed wetlands plan

Adding constructed wetlands to these ponds could improve water quality, while giving a nicer appearance and maintaining flood control.

construction of wetlands at Ivy GlenWe retrofitted an existing stormwater detention pond sited at Ivy Glen, a planned unit development in Conway, SC. Our retrofit converted the largest of five detention ponds from a shallow non-vegetated dry pond into an extended detention, multiple pond system.

 

 

 

 

construction of wetlands at Ivy Glen 2

The Results

Ivy Glen 4 Ivy Glen 5 Ivy Glen 6

Pollution Removal by Constructed Wetlands

After a storm, the constructed wetlands removes 98% of contaminant bacteria. Removal of other pollutants was in the range of 50%.

Permanent educational signs are posted at the site and are used to educate developers, property owners, and municipal officials.

Ivy Glen educational sign

Other Pollutants

Soil

These are some examples of soil erosion caused by stormwater runoff:

soil erosion 1

soil erosion 2

Litter

Kingston Lake Swamp cleanupWaccamaw Riverkeeper volunteer Rick Rickenbaker balances a load of trash collected from Kingston Lake Swamp on his kayak.

 

 

 

 

 

Kingston Lake Swamp cleanupWaccamaw Riverkeeper volunteer and Middle Squadron Leader Mike Todd rests with part of the trash pulled out of Kingston Lake Swamp.

 

 

 

 

 

Mercury Contamination in Fish

  • 90% of SC DHEC fish consumption advisories in SC are for coastal rivers
  • Fish in the Waccamaw River have highest mercury levels
  • Mercury comes from fossil fuel burning
  • Transported from the atmosphere into water
  • Passed up the food chain
  • Causes neurological problems, IQ defecits, heart disease and birth defects in humans

Illegal Discharge

Wash out from drainage ditch emptying into Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway creates new sand bar, obstructing boat traffic.

illegal discharge

illegal discharge 2

Local Pollution

The following are two local examples of Point Source Pollution in the Waccamaw Watershed:

Bear Bluff: Illegal Mining Discharge

illegal mining discharge

Kingston Lake: Illegal Discharge

Discharge material flowing down creek toward Waccamaw River.

illegal mining discharge 2

‌Material flows into stream, past beaver dam and toward river.

illegal mining discharge 3

 Material covers bottom of stream below dam.

illegal mining discharge 4

Material covers bottom of stream, just before entering the Waccamaw River.

illegal discharge 3

Illegal discharge pipe found emptying into Kingston Lake.‌‌‌

illegal discharge 4

Pipe diverted into proper sewer system.

National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES)

This permitting program controls point source pollution from sources such as:

  • sewage treatment plants
  • mining operations
  • industrial operations

The permitting program worked so well at controlling point source, that the new program now applies to non-point source pollution (stormwater discharge) and is called NPDES Phase II—

  • funded by county and city stormwater utility fees
  • requires participation from community and education on storm water impacts

Annotated Bibliography

Watersheds: Scope and Description

[EPA] Environmental Protection Agency. 2002 Aug 23. Watershed Approach Framework. <http://www.epa.gov/owow/watershed/framework/index.html>

This online publication provides the EPA’s vision of a watershed approach. It includes links to sections that address the origin of the watershed approach, its guiding principles, and the need for such an approach as well as its benefits. This document also outlines the roles of the states and tribes as envisioned by the EPA.

[Bower, D.E., Lowry, C., Jr., Lowery, M.A., and Hurley, N.M., Jr.] 1999. Development of a 14-digit hydrologic unit code numbering system for South Carolina. WATER-RESOURCES INVESTIGATIONS REPORT 99-4015. US Geological Survey. <http://pubs.er.usgs.gov/pubs/wri/wri994015>

This PDF file consists of a Hydrologic Unit Map that shows the cataloging units (8-,11-, and 14-digit), watersheds, and subwatersheds of South Carolina. It also provides information on drainage, hydrography, and hydrologic boundaries. It was developed as a cooperative effort between the USGS, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service. An electronic version of the data can be provided on a compact disc.

[Watershed Strategy Coordinator. South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control] Watershed Water Quality Assessment for the Pee Dee River Basin < http://www.scdhec.net/water/shed/pd_main.html> Accessed 2004 Dec 11.

This websites allows you to download a PDF version of the Watershed Water Quality Assessment of the Pee Dee River Basin. The report identifies the designated use (DU) status of all sites within the Pee Dee River Basin and lists the sites that may have changed use support status from 1994-1998. It fulfills the EPA reporting requirements under sections 303 (d), 305 (b), 314, and 319 of the Clean Water Act.
Watershed Planning

[Center for Watershed Protection] Basic Concepts in Watershed Planning. The Rapid Watershed Planning Handbook. Article 28 from Chapter 21.

This article covers nine basic watershed concepts that should be considered when carrying out rapid watershed planning. These concepts include identifying and understanding unique components of a watershed, the effects of impervious coverage, the eight watershed management tools, decision making, and the importance for stakeholder consensus.

[Center for Watershed Protection] 2001 Jan. Powhatan Creek Watershed Management Plan. <http://www.cwp.org/watershed_services/Powhatan_es.pdf>

This is an example of a watershed management plan. It was produced by the Center for Watershed Protection for James City County, Virginia.

Watershed Protection

[Center for Watershed Protection] The Tools of Watershed Protection. The Rapid Watershed Planning Handbook. Article 27 from Chapter 2.
<http://www.stormwatercenter.net/Practice/27-The%20Tools%20of%20Watershed%20Protection.pdf>

This article outlines the concept and purpose of each of the eight tools of watershed protection. It also provides specific application techniques and provides guidance for important choices that watershed managers face. Further information on these tools can be found at: http://www.cwp.org/tools_protection.htm

[Center for Watershed Protection] Watershed Protection Audit. Do-It-Yourself Watershed Protection Kit. <http://www.cwp.org/Community_Watersheds/
Watershed_Protection_Audit2.pdf
>

This document contains an example of a watershed protection audit that enables a community to assess their watershed’s current watershed protection strategies. It evaluates the ability of a community to implement the Eight Watershed Protection Tools. The Center for Watershed Protection designed this audit to survey county engineers, planners and officials and encourages communities to modify the audit to best fit their watershed.

[Center for Watershed Protection] Elements of a Smart Watershed Program <http://www.cwp.org/SMART_WATERSHED_PROGRAM.htm>

Smart watersheds refer to 17 public sector programs that treat stormwater runoff, restore urban stream corridors and reduce pollution discharges in highly urban watersheds. The best means to integrate these programs is the small watershed plan, which analyzes the unique characteristics of each subwatershed, evaluates its restoration potential, and ranks and selects priority restoration practices for long term implementation.

Watershed Management

[EPA] 2003 Mar 10. Top 10 Watershed Lessons Learned. US EPA Watershed Academy Web. <http://www.epa.gov/watertrain/tenless.html>

This document was created by a focus group of 20 representatives from agencies involved in watershed management. It consists of 10 important lessons that have been learned in the process of developing a watershed approach. It contains valuable lessons of what worked and what didn’t in attempt to save watershed practitioners time when developing new watershed programs. This is one of the required modules in the US EPA Watershed Academy Certificate Program.

Watershed Monitoring

[EPA] 2002 Dec 19th. Overview of Watershed Monitoring. EPA Watershed Academy Web. <http://www.epa.gov/watertrain/monitoring/>

This module gives the reader an introduction to watershed monitoring, its purpose, and its role in watershed management. It also outlines strategies for developing a monitoring program and sampling design as well as offers helpful implementation tips. This is a required module in the EPA’s Watershed Academy Certificate Program.

[EPA] 2003 Sept 9. Volunteer Monitoring. Monitoring and Assessing Water Quality. <http://www.epa.gov/owow/monitoring/vol.html>

This website provides monitoring method manuals in PDF format for estuarine waters, lakes, streams, and wetlands. It has links to the national newsletter, The Volunteer Monitor, conferences and events, and fact sheets that overview volunteering monitoring basics and EPA support for such programs.

[EPA] 2003 Oct 21. Stressor Identification Guidance. Biocriteria. <http://www.epa.gov/waterscience/biocriteria/stressors/stressorid.html>

This website allows you to download the EPA’s Stressor Identification Guide in PDF format. The guide is aimed at establishing water quality indicators in watersheds.

[EPA] 2003 Dec 15. STORET Database Access. <http://www.epa.gov/storet/dbtop.html>

STORET is a water quality database maintained by the US Environmental Protection Agency. It contains raw biological, chemical, and physical data collected for surface and ground water by federal, state and local agencies, as well as a suite of other water quality groups. This webpage allows you to access current and archived data for all 50 states, territories and US jurisdictions. It also provides a link to the USGS database for water quality data owned by the USGS.

[EPA] 2003 Dec 3. WATERS: Watershed Assessment, Tracking & Environmental Results< http://www.epa.gov/waters/>

WATERS is an information system that connects several surface water quality databases from the EPA’s Office of Water (OW) into a large framework for a more comprehensive look at the health of watersheds. This website can be used to answer questions such as: “Can I eat the fish in my watershed? Is it safe to swim the water?” This site also provides a download for EnviroMapper for Water, an interactive web-based GIS tool that allows you to customize maps of and display water quality information for waterbodies near you.

[Center for Watershed Protection] Watershed Assessment Tools. <http://www.cwp.org/tools_assessment.htm>

This website provides links and actual documents that overview relatively inexpensive rapid watershed assessment tools. These tools facilitate the collection of useable information in a timely manner. They include vulnerability analysis, retrofit assessment, Rapid Stream Assessment Technique (RSAT), and conservation assessment. This site also provides examples of how an urban/suburban watershed in Maryland incorporated such techniques and a link to the Stormwater Manager’s Resource Center for further stream assessment techniques.

Watershed Ecology

The following articles represent scientific studies in watershed ecology:

Vannote, R. L., G. W. Minshall, K. W. Cummins, J. R. Sedell, and C. E. Cushing, 1980. The river continuum concept. Can. J. Fish. Aq. Sci. Vol. 37, pp. 130-137.

Dame, R., D. Childers and E. Koepfler. 1992. A geohydrologic continuum theory for the spatial and temporal evolution of marsh-estuarine ecosystems. Neth. J. Sea Res. Vol.30, pp. 63-72.

Meyer, J.L. and R. T. Edwards. 1990. Ecosystem Metabolism and Turnover of Organic Carbon along a Blackwater River Continuum. Ecology, Vol. 71, No. 2, pp. 668-677.

Meyer, J.L. 1990. A blackwater perspective on riverine ecosystems. BioScience, Vol. 40, No. 9, p. 643.

Watershed Restoration

[EPA] 2002 Aug 8. Restoration Techniques: The USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service Watershed Technology Electronic Catalog (WTEC). US EPA Watershed Academy Web. <http://www.epa.gov/watertrain/restor.html>

This website contains information and diagrams for over 150 watershed management practices. They are conveniently divided into 11 main restoration topics. It also provides a link to the Stream Corridor Restoration Handbook Website that outlines a framework for multi-disciplinary stream corridor restoration.

[Oregon State University] 2004 Sept 15. Watershed Restoration Projects. <http://oregonstate.edu/instruction/anth481/ws/wsproj.html>

This page is part of a website for a course in Natural Resources and Communities at Oregon State University. It provides links to various restoration project websites in Oregon as well as a $7.8 billion Florida Everglades restoration project.

[EPA] 2002 Aug 8. National Showcase Watersheds. Watershed Protection. <http://www.epa.gov/owow/showcase/>

This website showcases 12 watersheds across the US for their “application of stream corridor restoration technology and for improving the community, the environment, and water quality.” They were chosen in 1999 by a federal restoration committee. Each case study overviews the restoration project description, local, partners, and offers relevant links and contact information.

[FISRWG] 1998 Oct. Stream Corridor Restoration: Principles, Processes, and Practices. Federal Interagency Stream Restoration Working Group. GPO Item No. 0120-A; SuDocs No. A 57.6/2:EN 3/PT.653. ISBN-0-934213-59-3. <http://www.nrcs.usda.gov/technical/stream_restoration/>

The Federal Interagency Stream Restoration Working Group (consisting of 15 federal agencies of the US government) wrote this document to address restoration of the functions and values of stream corridors. It can be downloaded by chapter or in its entirety at this website.

Human Dimensions of Watershed Impacts

[EPA] 2003 Mar 13. Introduction to the Clean Water Act. US EPA Watershed Academy Web. <http://www.epa.gov/watertrain/cwa/>

This is one of 15 required modules in the EPA’s Watershed Academy Certificate Program. It provides a comprehensive overview of the history and components of the Clean Water Act, including water quality standards, antidegradation, waterbody monitoring and assessment, reporting requirements, total maximum daily loads (TMDLs), pollution discharge permits, and wetland policies.

[South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control] 2004 Oct 22. Surface Water Monitoring Program. <http://www.scdhec.net/water/html/surface.html>

This is an example of a state’s biological, water quality, and shellfish monitoring program. It includes ambient surface water monitoring that measures physical water parameters at stations across the state and periodic analysis of chemical properties of collected sediment and surface water. It also includes an aquatic toxicology program. The site provides links to laws, regulations, common water quality indicators, and instructions for access the programs data on the EPA’s STORET site..

[EPA] 2003 Dec 15. STORET Database Access. <http://www.epa.gov/storet/dbtop.html>

STORET is a water quality database maintained by the US Environmental Protection Agency. It contains raw biological, chemical, and physical data collected for surface and ground water by federal, state and local agencies, as well as a suite of other water quality groups. This webpage allows you to access current and archived data for all 50 states, territories and US jurisdictions. It also provides a link to the USGS database for water quality data owned by the USGS.

[EPA] 2003 Dec 3. WATERS: Watershed Assessment, Tracking & Environmental Results< http://www.epa.gov/waters/>

WATERS is an information system that connects several surface water quality databases from the EPA’s Office of Water (OW) into a large framework for a more comprehensive look at the health of watersheds. This website can be used to answer questions such as: “Can I eat the fish in my watershed? Is it safe to swim the water?” This site also provides a download for EnviroMapper for Water, an interactive web-based GIS tool that allows you to customize maps of and display water quality information for waterbodies near you.

[EPA] 2004 Oct 13. Ground Water & Drinking Water. <http://www.epa.gov/safewater/>

This website provides information about local drinking water quality, source water protection, drinking water standards, public drinking water systems, and underground injection well control. The link to Drinking Water and Health Basics gives a clear overview of “What you need to know” about drinking water quality. This site also provides a link through its Kids Stuff page to educational materials for grades K-12.

Hydrologic Cycle

[Richter, B] 2003 Mar 11. Protecting Instream Flows: How Much Water Does a River Need? The Nature Conservancy. Listed on the US EPA Watershed Academy Web. <http://www.epa.gov/watertrain/river/>

This document is used as one of the required modules in the EPA’s Watershed Academy Certificate Program. It discusses the importance of streamflow restoration in sustaining biological diversity and natural ecosystem functions of rivers and riparian areas. It is especially applicable when establishing ideal water flows from dams and in projects aimed at restoring natural watershed functions and hydraulic regimes. This document was written in through the Nature Conservancy’s Freshwater Initiative.

[The Nature Conservancy] 2003. Indicators of Hydrologic Alternation and the Range of Variability Approach. Sustainable Waters Program. <http://www.freshwaters.org/tools/>

This website allows you to download the Indicators of Hydrologic Alteration (IHA) software package that is used by water resource managers. IHA uses daily hydrologic data (streamflow, river stages, ground water levels, etc.) to create a statistical description of daily stream flow and measure changes over time. IHA also includes the Range of Variability Approach (RVA) to assist adaptive management programs in identifying management targets.

[The Groundwater Foundation] 2004 Aug 16. Groundwater Glossary. Get Informed Webpage. <http://www.groundwater.org/gi/gwglossary.html>

Created in 1985 in Lincoln, NE, The Groundwater Foundation’s mission is to educate and motivate people to care for and about ground water. This webpage includes a comprehensive glossary of groundwater terms and concepts. This page also provides links to their home page where you can learn more about the organization and a “kid’s corner” with educational activities and material for students.

[Massachusetts Government] 2004 Sept. 7Q10 Fact sheet. Low Flow Inventory Webpage. <http://www.mass.gov/dfwele/river/rivlow_flow_inventory/7q10.html>

This website provides a thorough explanation of the term 7Q10 and other watershed management terms. It also provides links to informational pages on groundwater, physical environment, dams, and ecology as well as a glossary and an incredible resources page with further links to applicable water management topics: streamflow, habitat and ecology, water conservation, sources of data, groundwater recharge, stormwater infiltration, new technologies, etc. The website appears to have been produced in conjunction with Mass. Executive Office of Environmental Affairs, Mass. Department of Fish and Game, and Mass. DFG Riverways Programs.

Isolated Wetlands

[Association of State Wetland Managers, Inc.] 2004 July 21. Isolated Wetlands. Wetland Science Page. <http://www.aswm.org/science/isolated.htm#22>

This page on the Association of State Wetland Mangers, Inc. of New York website provides an extensive list of scientific literature pertaining to isolated wetlands. The list was compiled in an attempt to assist interested parties in their search for a definition of “isolated wetlands” and their functions. It is conveniently organized by category.

[Kusler, J.] The SWANCC Decision and State Regulation of Wetlands. Association of State Wetland Managers, Inc. <http://www.aswm.org/fwp/swancc/aswm-int.pdf>

This memorandum was distributed to 30 states to help them understand the repercussions of the SWANCC decision and respond accordingly. The document clearly provides the facts of the case, the Supreme Court’s decision, information about what the ruling means for isolated wetland protection, as well as the current role of the states in isolated wetland regulation.

Nonpoint Source Pollution: Impacts

[EPA] 2003 Dec 3. WATERS: Watershed Assessment, Tracking & Environmental Results< http://www.epa.gov/waters/>

WATERS is an information system that connects several surface water quality databases from the EPA’s Office of Water (OW) into a large framework for a more comprehensive look at the health of watersheds. This website can be used to answer questions such as: “Can I eat the fish in my watershed? Is it safe to swim the water?” This site also provides a download for EnviroMapper for Water, an interactive web-based GIS tool that allows you to customize maps of and display water quality information for waterbodies near you.

[Carpenter, S et al.] 1998. Nonpoint Pollution of Surface Waters with Phosphorus and Nitrogen. Issues in Ecology. Number 3. Listed on the US EPA Watershed Academy Web. <http://www.epa.gov/watertrain/pdf/issue3.pdf>

This document provides an overview of nonpoint source pollution, explains how nonpoint phosphorus and nitrogen can affect waterbodies through eutrophication, identifies the major sources of nonpoint phosphorus and nitrogen pollution, and offers suggestions on ways to reduce nonpoint source pollution. It is published in Issues in Ecology through the Ecological Society of America and is a required module in the EPA’s Watershed Academy Certificate Program.

Waccamaw Riverkeeper

[Winyah Rivers Foundation] 2003. Meet the Waccamaw Riverkeeper <http://www.winyahrivers.org>

A Waterkeeper is a paid full-time person whose job it is to advocate compliance with environmental laws, respond to citizen complaints, identify problems which affect the water body and devise appropriate remedies, educate the public and advocate for the public’s right to protect and defend the environment. Each Waterkeeper program reflects the needs of the water body and the community it represents.

Alternative Urban Planning

[NOAA] National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center. Alternatives for Coastal Development: One Site, Three Scenarios. 2004 May 14. <http://www.csc.noaa.gov/alternatives/>

This website illustrates three different coastal development scenarios: conventional design, conservation design, and new urbanist design. It uses several indicators (water consumption, infrastructure costs, etc.) to compare the economic, environmental, and social differences that result from each approach.

[North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve] Coastal Training Program. <http://northinlet.sc.edu/training/training_events.htm>

This site provides examples of training programs in coastal issues that are offered to the community. They include invasive species, development, stormwater management, and watershed protection. The site also provides links to training descriptions and presentations.

Jordan Cove Urban Watershed Section 319 Nation Monitoring Program Project. <http://www.bae.ncsu.edu/programs/extension/wqg/
99rept319/index_files/connecticut.pdf
>

The document outlines a project that compares the watershed effects of a traditional residential development area and an area utilizing Best Management Practices (BMPs). The sampling plan and data analysis techniques are clearly laid out, but the development sites were still in construction when this document was written.

[Center for Watershed Protection] 2004 Aug 9. The Stormwater Manager’s Resource Center. <http://www.stormwatercenter.net/>

This website is managed by the Center for Watershed Protection and funded by the EPA’s Office of Water and Office of Wastewater Management. It contains “everything you need to know about stormwater.” This site has a Manual Builder to assist in developing a stormwater treatment practice design manual, examples of ordinances used to guide growth, tools for monitoring and assessment programs, as well as additional resources for stormwater management program development. The site also offers numerous slide shows and presentations.

[Clemson University] Home a Syst. <http://virtual.clemson.edu/groups/psapublishing/
PAGES/WATER/WQL21A/tocmain.htm
>

This website contains helpful tips for home owners to improve water quality in their community. It begins with a self-assessment of water quality around the home and then covers stormwater management, hazardous household products, home septic systems, and yard and garden care. It also contains numerous resources and relevant information to help home owners make environmentally friendly decisions.

Forestry and Agriculture Best Management Practices

[Kloberdanz/Geneseo, K] 2004 Dec 6. Farm of the Future: A Harvard grad morphs his family’s 100-year-old iowa homestead into a technological marvel. Time Inside Business. Time.com. <http://www.time.com/time/insidebiz/article/0,9171,1101041206-832196,00.html>

This online article tells how a Midwest farmer is using the latest technology and Best Management Practices (BMPs) to effectively revolutionize his family farm.

Ecosystem Services

[NOAA] National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Coastal Services Center. Alternatives for Coastal Development: One Site, Three Scenarios. 2004 May 14. <http://www.csc.noaa.gov/alternatives/>

This website illustrates three different coastal development scenarios: conventional design, conservation design, and new urbanist design. It uses several indicators (water consumption, infrastructure costs, etc.) to compare the economic, environmental, and social differences that result from each approach.

[Daily, GC et al.] 1997. Ecosystem Services: Benefits supplied to human societies by natural ecosystems. Issues in Ecology. Number 2. Ecological Society of America.
<http://www.epa.gov/watertrain/ecosyst.html>

This document focuses on services that natural ecosystems provide for humans such as, seafood, game animals, crops, wood for fuel and building materials, and pharmaceutical products. In addition it looks at the role nature plays in purifying our air and water, climate regulation, soil regeneration, nutrient cycling, and detoxification and decomposition of waste. It is one of the required modules for the US EPA Watershed Academy Certification Program.

Natural Resource Economic Valuation

[Stallworth, H. et al. ] 2003 Mar 10. Economics of Sustainability. Listed on the US EPA Watershed Academy Web. <http://www.epa.gov/watertrain/acad2000_a.html>

This document includes issue papers developed on by the EPA’s former Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation for seven different socioeconomic aspects of the watershed approach. It provides a good overview of key debates that occur when considering the environment and economics of an area: environment-employment, cost-benefit analysis, green marketing, etc. This document is used by the EPA as a watershed academy module.

[Green Seal] <http://www.greenseal.org>

Green Seal is an independent, non-profit organization based in Washington, DC dedicated to identifying and promoting environmentally-friendly products. This site provides links to its “greening” programs: Product Standards and Certification, Product Recommendations, Greening the Lodging Industry, and Policy. Green Seal also offers downloads and free printed copies of its publications and reports.

[Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design] <http://www.usgbc.org/leed/leed_main.asp>

Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design (LEED) is a program of the US Green Building Council that was established to set standards for and promote green buildings, stimulate green competition, raise consumer awareness, and transform the building market. This site provides background on the program, training workshops, certification information, and downloadable manuals and publications pertaining to green building.

[Scientific Certification Systems] 2004. <http://www.scscertified.com/>

Scientific Certification Systems (SCS) was started in 1984 as an independent, third-party certifier of environmentally sound products. This site provides links to lists of certified products for food & agriculture, manufacturing, forestry, fisheries, electricity, and corporate social responsibility purchasing.

[EPA] 2004 Dec 7. What is the ETV Program? Environmental Technology Verification Program. < http://www.epa.gov/etv/>

The US Environmental Protection Agency started the ETV program in 1995 to asses the performance of technologies that protect human health and our environment. These environmental technologies are associated with air, water, soil, ecosystems, waste, pollution prevention, and monitoring. This site provides links to testing protocols, verified technologies, current evaluation projects and events, and downloadable documents.

[US Department of State] 2002 May. Overview of Sustainable Ecotourism in the United States of America. Submitted to the World Ecotourism Summit. <http://www.state.gov/g/oes/rls/or/19412.htm>

This document overviews the occurrence, planning, regulation, promotion, and future of ecotourism in the US. It provides further information of ecotourism supported by federal agencies such as the National Park Service, National Forest Service, US Fish and Wildlife, Bureau of Land Management, and National Marine Fisheries Service.

Green Economics Resource Center. < http://www.progress.org/green/>

This site is founded on three principles: people are precious, national resources are important, and innovation (in the form of green economics) can be lonely. It has links to a library with recommended reading in green economics and relevant websites.

BASINS Software

[EPA] 2004 Nov 26th. BASINS: Better Assessment Science Integrating Point and Nonpoint Sources. US EPA Website. <http://www.epa.gov/docs/ostwater/BASINS/>

BASINS is a watershed analysis program that integrates GIS, national watershed data, and environmental assessment and modeling tools. It allows the user to access point and non-point source data and assess water quality at selected sites within a watershed. This website provides basic information on BASINS, training materials and classes, metadata, a listserver for technical support, and additional tools and related links. It also allows you to download the latest version of the program.

[Harris, S.] BASINS at Coastal Carolina University. <http://camelot.coastal.edu/basins/>

This site allows you to download BASINS 3.1, access HUC (8-digit) data, weather data, and BASINS 3.1 training materials.

[Serveiss, VB et al.] 2002 Oct 10. Watershed Ecological Risk Assessment. US EPA Watershed Academy Web. <http://www.epa.gov/watertrain/ecorisk/index.html>

This EPA module was written in conjunction with the EPA Center for Environmental Assessment and the EPA Office of Wetlands, Oceans, and Watersheds. It introduces the concept of watershed risk assessment, provides guidance on developing a risk assessment and presenting the results, and offers links to relevant case studies.

Waccamaw Sub-Basin

The Waccamaw River is one of four major rivers that comprise the Pee Dee Basin or the Winyah Bay Watershed. It originates in Lake Waccamaw in North Carolina.

Waccamaw subbasin map

Click here to download a 36 x 44 pdf of the map displayed above.

The river encompasses over 18,000 square miles in the Carolinas. The Pee Dee and Waccamaw Rivers converge with the Atlantic Intracoastal Waterway to form a flow that empties into Winyah Bay from the north. The other two major rivers, the Black and the Sampit, flow from the west into Winyah Bay. This estuary has the largest watershed on the east coast and is especially unique as it is largely undeveloped.

Characteristics of the Waccamaw River Subbasin

  Overall North Carolina South Carolina
Acres 1,243,000 668,000 575,000
% of Total Acres in Watershed 100 54 46
Stream Miles 1724.4 671.3 1053.1
% of Total Miles in River 100 39 61
  • Water quality is good in the Waccamaw River and Winyah Bay Watershed since they are fairly undeveloped. They are used and managed as drinking water and a recreational resource.
  • The river corridors in the Winyah Bay Watershed are an unique ecosystem that maintains the water quality while providing a means to store and transport water through Horry and Georgetown counties.
  • In 1998, a 50,000-acre national wildlife refuge was created to protect the lower reach of the Waccamaw River, extending south from the City of Conway to Winyah Bay . This area has priority for protection in the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Southeastern Regional Wetlands Concept Plan, which is part of the National Wetlands Priority Conservation Plan. The area is also a conservation priority of the Atlantic Coast Joint Venture’s North American Waterfowl Management Plan.

Watershed Management

What is a watershed management plan?

  • Community-based list of prioritized actions to preserve, protect, and improve a waterway and its drainage area
  • Incorporates input from a broad range of stakeholders
  • Blends concern about natural, cultural, and economic resources

Watershed planning in a nutshell

  • Establish need for regional planning and define a geographic area
  • Evaluate watershed conditions and problems
  • Identify leadership, stakeholders and issues
  • Develop vision, goals, and objectives
  • Identify action items, resources, and responsibilities
  • Implement action items to guide land use and community decisions
  • Monitor/assess progress and update plan

Top 10 Watershed Lessons Learned

  • The best plans have clear visions, goals, and action items
  • Good leaders are committed and empower others
  • Having a coordinator at the watershed level is desirable
  • Environmental, economic & social values are compatible
  • Plans only succeed if implemented
  • Partnerships equal power
  • Good tools are available
  • Measure, communicate, and account for progress
  • Education and involvement drive action
  • Build on small successes