Project Overview


nc3.bmp (289438 bytes)More than 20% of state’s population, 1.47 million people, reside in 27 counties within the Cape Fear River Basin watershed. Growth is expected to accelerate in the coming decades. The Wilmington Morning Star reported that more than 1,000 people per week are predicted to move into the basin at the beginning of the next century. By 2010 the population will be more than 2.5 million. This is three times the growth rate from 1980 to 1990.


travelinggunirrigation.jpg (14637 bytes)While the State’s rivers and their health has been much reported in recent years, the bulk of public interest and funding has heretofore been directed at the Neuse River Basin, which is just to the north. Well organized, grass-roots efforts have been underway for some time to study water quality problems on the Neuse and to develop effective management strategies.

necapefearcanoe2.jpg (8150 bytes)Most officials and researchers agree that the Cape Fear River is generally in better condition than the Neuse. Nonetheless, without effective, proactive management it probably also faces a bleak future. For instance, more than 35% of the streams in the watershed are considered threatened and 18% are impaired by pollution. Sediment is the major pollutant, although nutrient enrichment, BOD and toxic chemicals are also problems. The main pollution sources are urban stormwater, construction, agriculture and wastewater treatment plants.

Therefore, while the problems on the Cape Fear have not reached the critical level that are present on the Neuse, there is a great need for improved planning and management tools to improve regulation and use of water resources within the basin.  The purpose of this study is to develop this management tool.

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In Association With Our Funding Partners .. 

Cape Fear River Assembly

The Towns of Apex, Cary and Morrisville

Wake County.

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Last updated: May 13, 1999.