SUSTAINABLE RIVERS PROGRAM UPDATE

PROGRESS & UPDATES

Multiple members of the Cape Fear River Partnership recently participated in the launch of the Cape Fear River into the Sustainable Rivers Program.

For some background, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) and the US Army Corps of Engineers (the Corps) cooperatively manage a nation-wide initiative called the Sustainable Rivers Program (SRP) that began in 2002 with eight rivers. The SRP’s goal is to “improve the health and life of rivers by modifying reservoir operations to achieve ecologically sustainable flows while maintaining or enhancing other project benefits.” In 2014, the Corps’ Environmental Advisory Board resolved to expand the program from 8 to 20 rivers by the year 2020. In 2016, TNC and the Corps proposed to add the Cape Fear River to the program because of the complex water resource issues in the basin, and because the Corps imparts influence through its operation of Jordan Dam, three additional locks and dams, and its dredging of navigation channels near the mouth of the river.

In October of 2017, TNC and the Corps officially launched the Cape Fear River into the program with a kick-off meeting at Jordan Dam that included national SRP representatives and local experts. Numerous members of the Cape Fear River Partnership presented their ideas and research regarding water quality, aquatic species, and environmental flow knowledge in the basin.

To learn more about the Sustainable Rivers Program, please visit: http://www.iwr.usace.army.mil/Missions/Environment/Sustainable-Rivers-Project/

WHAT COMES NEXT

The October 2017 stakeholder meeting highlighted the extensive on-going efforts to better understand and manage water resources in the basin. TNC and the Corps will compile a review document of these various efforts, and determine where knowledge gaps exist pertaining to environmental flows.

Both TNC and the Corps will then apply their respective tools and expertise to identify improved management opportunities in the basin. Again, many members of the Cape Fear River Partnership will likely contribute their knowledge to this effort.

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2018-06-18T17:50:27+00:00