NSW Strategies - Tar Pamlico
Nutrient Sensitive Water Management Strategy: Agricultural Nutrient Reduction Strategy
In the mid 1980's the Tar Pamlico River Basin saw an increase in fish kills, harmful algal blooms and stressed aquatic organisms. All of these pointed to excessive nutrient loading to the river basin. In 1989, the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) designated the entire Tar-Pamlico River Basin Nutrient Sensitive Waters (NSW), which required the basin to adopt a nutrient management strategy.
The Agriculture rules effective September 1, 2001 set a goal of 30% nitrogen loading reduction from the 1991 levels and a no net increase in phosphorus. These Rules also required each cooperator to register within one year of the effective date.
For agriculture, these rules provide flexibility at the local level for implementing site-specific practices rather than a one-size-fits-all requirement. Farmers achieve the reduction goal collectively, focusing on critical areas. The local plan provides more options to farmers, tailored to their specific needs.
Since reporting began in 2003, the Tar-Pamlico River Basin has consistently exceeded and gone beyond the 30% reduction goal. The agricultural community has continued to install best management practices to improve water quality and reduce nutrient loading to North Carolina's waterways.
Annual Progress Reports on the Tar-Pamlico Agricultural Rule
Agencies involved in nitrogen reduction planning:
Sources of technical and financial assistance:
For more information contact:
Joey Hester, NPS Planning Coordinator