WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH — A stormwater retrofit at the Blockade Runner resort in Wrightsville has been completed, redirecting polluted runoff from nearby recreational waters that enters Banks Channel on the soundside of the resort.
The channel is used by thousands of recreational swimmers, kayakers, paddleboarders and more every year.
The project is a partnership between the resort and the North Carolina Coastal Federation as part of the Bradley and Hewletts Creeks Watershed Restoration Plan.
According to the federation, the project disconnected pipes that drained runoff from the resort property into Banks Channel, and redirected the water into the resort’s lawn. The water can now infiltrate the sandy soils. In addition, a 2,100-gallon cistern will collect rainwater for irrigation use, reducing the Blockade Runner’s municipal water use by 25 percent.
The project was funded from North Carolina’s Environmental Enhancement Grant program.
“We couldn’t be happier with this retrofit project,” said Feletia Lee, environmental coordinator for the resort. “Since its completion, we have seen a dramatic decrease in the amount of stormwater draining into Banks Channel, and it is exciting to know that the system is not only operational but successful. The Blockade Runner remains committed to healthy, coastal waters that offer our guests and athletes a safe place to play and compete.”
The resort is holding the West Marine Carolina Cup, the world’s largest gathering of stand up paddleboard athletes, from April 19-23. Benefits will go towards the North Carolina Coastal Federation.