SWAN QUARTER — Agencies and organizations are asking for public input on a plan in the works to improve conditions in the Lake Mattamuskeet watershed.
Water quality in the lake in Hyde County is declining and lake levels are changing. County officials, the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are working together to support the development of a watershed-restoration plan and seeking public input on related issues.
When completed, the watershed management plan will explain how the lake should and does function, assess its status and health and identify various options to address water quality and flooding issues.
The North Carolina Coastal Federation is helping the county and its partners develop the plan. The federation previously worked with Hyde County landowners to develop a watershed restoration plan for about 43,000 acres of farmland and wetlands situated north of Engelhard.
As announced during the most recent meeting Feb. 6, the next steps are to identify stormwater reduction or water management techniques that will benefit the lake watershed and to analyze the impact of these solutions.
The public is encouraged to assist with documenting the impact of extreme events within the watershed by submitting detailed descriptions and photos that illustrate persistent flood or drought conditions. People can email this information to Michael Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 252-473-1607 by Friday. Include dates; locations; descriptions, such as monetary loss from damage to property, inability to use septic systems or perform work on agricultural land; and any other relevant information. Suggestions on how to improve conditions within the lake watershed are also welcome.
The next public meetings are planned for May 8, July 10 and Sept. 18. The meetings run from 7-8:30 p.m. and are held at the Hyde County Government Complex, 1430 Main St., Swan Quarter.