Do

What you can do to help preserve wetlands of the Northeast Creek basin:

Educate

  • Start with yourself. Learn about your watershed.  (Northeast Creek is the northeastern-most headwaters of the Cape Fear River basin, which flows by Wilmington before going into the Atlantic Ocean at Bald Head Island.  The North Carolina Watershed Stewardship Network has a data profile of every watershed in North Carolina; here is the one for Northeast Creek.  By the way, the Northeast Creek “watershed address” is 030300020605; that tracks its location in the stream network upstream from the Cape Fear River to the Haw River to the New Hope River- B. Everett Jordan Lake to Northeast Creek.
  • Then explore the Northeast Creek Streamwatch (northeastcreek.org) website.
  • Use the Healthy Watersheds Protection website to find out what the US Environmental Protection Agency is doing to protect watersheds.
  • Check for books in your library about watersheds and the plants and animals that form the local ecology of your area.
  • Check the Durham Soil and Water Conservation District’s Voluntary Nutrient Reduction Program and Community Conservation Assistance Program. Identify the steps that you can take on your property to improve the retention of stormwater and the quality of the water that runs off.
  • Get involved in finding out where wetlands exist near your home, try to learn more about them, and support environmental educational efforts.

Monitor

  • Observe how stormwater flows off your roof, driveway, patio, deck, and sidewalks during a rainstorm.
  • Trace where the water runs through your yard and where the flow during rainstorms leaves your property.  Notice which creeks receive the water from your property.
  • Gather your neighbors and go see the stream that receives the water from all of your property.  Through what curbs/gutters, swales, stormwater pipes/outfalls does it get there? What is the condition of the system that carries the stormwater?  Who has responsibility for maintaining what parts of the stormwater system–property owners, homeowner associations, municipalities, state Department of Transportation (DOT)
  • Where does that stream flow? Where does it flow into the main stem of Northeast Creek?  What is the condition of that section of the creek?  If there is litter or refuse, where is it coming from?

Clean

  • Pick up litter in your yard before it washes out to gutters, storm drains and the creek system.
  • Make sure that persistent sources of litter in the stormwater system get dealt with at the source through improved procedures.
  • Remove piles of leaves from road gutters and the openings for storm drains.
  • Ensure that bulk objects put out for pick up are handled through the relevant bulk object procedures and not dumped where it is convenient.
  • Ensure that non-native ornamentals are not “off the leash” and invading stream buffers.  Remove designated invasive plants and substitute a native plant species on your property.

Advocate

  • Advocate for awareness of the location of the streams in the Northeast Creek stream system and the ridges that bound the watershed.
  • Work with schools and home schoolers to increase awareness of the Northeast Creek basin and how it functions.
  • Help with Northeast Creek Streamwatch volunteer events.
  • Help spread knowledge of the value that properly functioning watersheds can provide.
  • Be an ambassador for the natural and cultural resources that make the Northeast Creek basin unique.
  • Express the community consensus about the importance of preservation of the natural and cultural resource of the Northeast Creek basin

Conserve

  • Harvest the rainfall on your own property.
  • Protect wetlands.
  • Preserve and propagate native plants.
  • Learn how to live along side the varieties of wildlife that maintain the creek.

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Volunteers Preserving the Natural and Cultural Heritage of Northeast Creek