2017’s last meeting for watershed restoration slated for Tuesday

Published 8:18 pm Wednesday, November 1, 2017

SWAN QUARTER — On Tuesday, the Hyde County community is invited to attend a public meeting to discuss progress of the Lake Mattamuskeet watershed restoration plan.

This meeting is the second quarterly public meeting to help guide the plan’s development. It starts at 7 p.m. at the Hyde County Government Complex in Swan Quarter.

The goal of the watershed restoration plan is to provide a blueprint for how to best address water quality and flooding issues that harm the lake’s fish and wildlife and affect nearby landowners.

Community members will hear a draft of the watershed restoration plan goals that were discussed and approved by the plan’s stakeholder group. Group members discuss goals and potential solutions to the lake watershed’s water quality and flooding problems, and help develop action items for the plan.

Stakeholders include members of Hyde County’s residential, farming and hospitality communities, as well as Hyde County employees and representatives from U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission. The North Carolina Coastal Federation is helping develop the plan.

Other topics include an overview of water quality trends and submerged aquatic vegetation in the lake from Michelle Moorman of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission will present on waterfowl trends.

Randall Etheridge, assistant professor in engineering at East Carolina University, will present on the current mapping and survey efforts being conducted at the lake. This mapping effort has helped Etheridge develop a preliminary outline of identified problems and solutions.

Time will also be dedicated to public comments and questions, and the participants will hear about next steps in developing the plan.

When completed, the plan will explain how the lake should and does function, its current status and health, and identify various practical management options for the lake watershed that will help address water quality and flooding issues. These goals, and the actions necessary to achieve them, will be informed by past and ongoing scientific studies as well as local knowledge and experiences.

The planning process began this summer and will be completed in the fall of 2018.

Additional public meetings for the Lake Mattamuskeet Watershed Restoration Plan will be held at 7 p.m. on the following dates at the Hyde County Government Complex in Swan Quarter:

  • Feb. 6, 2018
  • May 8, 2018
  • July 10, 2018
  • Sept. 18, 2018

More information about the plan, including meeting agendas, information about the stakeholder group and notes from the Aug. 8 public meeting, can be found at nccoast.org/lakemattamuskeet. This web page will be updated regularly as the plan progresses. Interested community members can also leave comments and sign up for a mailing list to receive email updates.

Questions about the watershed restoration plan can be directed to Erin Fleckenstein, coastal scientist for the North Carolina Coastal Federation’s Wanchese office, at 252-473-1607.