BEAUFORT — The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission’s boating access off Lennoxville Road is temporarily closed while upgrades are made to the parking lot and surrounding area to reduce the amount of stormwater runoff from the site.
The commission partnered with the North Carolina Coastal Federation and the town to replace the compacted gravel parking spaces with pervious paving grids to allow the water to soak into the ground. The Ecoraster grids are manufactured in Canada using post-consumer plastic waste.
The drive aisles will also be paved as part of the project, but most of the runoff will flow into the permeable parking stalls, reducing the volume of polluted runoff reaching Taylors Creek.
The commission said it strives to constantly improve and renovate its boating access areas. “Our partnership with the federation on this project allowed us to go even further with this parking renovation and add these stormwater improvements to further benefit Taylors Creek. We are looking forward to boaters being able to enjoy the finished product soon,” said Commission Engineering Section Chief Gary Gardner.
“This is a good thing for Taylors Creek,” said Beaufort Town Manager John Day. “We’ve been looking forward to breaking ground on this project for some time. We were adamant about making the ramp upgrades as environmentally friendly as possible and are thrilled with this partnership to make a great project.”
Also, existing green spaces and stormwater devices will be enhanced to capture more runoff.
“The current gravel lot actually produces very silty runoff due to the years of compaction. This project will improve a very heavily used water access point. It’s really a win-win for everyone,” said Bree Charron, a coastal specialist with the federation.
The federation was able to match commission funding with a grant from the North Carolina Clean Water Management Trust Fund for the permeable paving components of the project. The town is also working to secure additional money to add more permeable areas on the site.
The federation said decreasing the volume of runoff to its surrounding water bodies is a key goal of the town’s watershed restoration plan that the state approved in 2017.
“It is really great to see joint resources going toward implementation of the Beaufort Watershed Restoration Plan. The town has really embraced the plan and its strategies to reduce runoff in Beaufort,” said federation Deputy Director Lauren Kolodij, who helped work on the plan.
Construction at the Lennoxville Road site is scheduled to be completed by the end of November.
For more information on this project and other water quality improvements, visit the federation’s website at nccoast.org/stormwater or contact Lauren Kolodij at firstname.lastname@example.org or 252-393-8185.