SWANSBORO— The recent installation of a pervious parking lot here is the first of many projects planned to implement the town’s watershed restoration plan.
Using funding from the EPA Section 319 grant program, Swansboro and the North Carolina Coastal Federation worked together to install a parking lot at Town Hall that will allow stormwater to soak into the ground and help reduce runoff, the federation announced Friday in a press release.
The new public parking lot, which will provide parking for the town and nearby businesses and restaurants, connects Town Hall and the public safety building. It includes sections with pervious paver grids filled with rock that allows rain to soak through. The lot was designed by Coastal Stormwater Services Inc. and was constructed by Task Contracting.
“The Town of Swansboro would like to thank the Coastal Federation for their assistance and support in the development of a project that provides much-needed parking yet allows for the town to be environmentally sound by collecting runoff from not only the new section of parking but existing impervious surface as well,” said Town Manager Scott Chase in a statement.
Swansboro’s plan was approved in 2017 and focuses on ways to reduce stormwater runoff by implementing retrofit projects. The parking lot and future projects aims to reduce the volume of runoff using techniques that emphasize stormwater infiltration and reuse, according to the release.
“What we’re trying to do with the watershed restoration plan is reduce the volume of stormwater being generated and turn back the clock on water pollution and improve water quality,” Lauren Kolodij, deputy director with the federation, said in a statement.
The plan sets a framework for reducing runoff targeting the Halls Creek, Ward/Hawkins Creek, Foster Creek, Hammocks Creek and Historic Creek watersheds.
“This project pairs a major capital improvement project with the town’s dedication to improving water quality in the White Oak River,” Bree Charron, coastal specialist with the federation, said in a statement. “We’re excited to help the town showcase how development, like the much-needed parking in Swansboro, can be accomplished without increasing stormwater loads to nearby waters. We do this by giving it the space to infiltrate.”