Water Quality and Quantity2018-04-27T16:04:55+00:00


The Water Quality and Quantity Committee was formed with the recognition that water quality issues may impact populations of striped bass and other diadromous species in the Cape Fear River. Part of our mission is to survey the nature of water quality challenges, broaden awareness of these challenges among the Partnership members, and keep the Partnership updated on progress (or lack thereof) in mitigating these problems.

Similarly, we seek to broaden public awareness of these issues and to identify actions that may assist the Partnership or its constituent members in identifying actionable tasks and funding to support them.

The Cape Fear River Partnership Water Quality and Quantity Committee brings together regulators, industry professionals, NGOs, and academics to focus on the biological, physical, and chemical integrity of the Cape Fear River and work to protect and improve conditions for migratory fishes. This includes posing questions about currenthistoric and future conditions, collaborating on research projects, sharing data, and supporting each other on seeking funding. The Water Quality Committee encourages communication between stakeholders throughout the river basin to serve as an alert system and monitor changing conditions over time. Topics of interest include emergent contaminants, potentially harmful algal blooms (pHABs), eutrophication and nutrient criteria development, water supply studies, and impacts and mitigation of concentrated animal feeding operations.


The water quality challenges faced by diadromous species in the Cape Fear River include nutrient loading and eutrophication, and accompanying algae blooms and low dissolved oxygen problems, blooms of harmful algae, such as Microcystis, excessive loadings of Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), and a variety of chemical contaminants, some of which may be toxicants and/or endocrine disruptors.

As an example of the education effort, the Partnership was one of the first organizations to be fully briefed on the problems with “GenX”, an emerging contaminant in the Cape Fear River.

The Water Quality and Quantity Committee has served as a robust bank of knowledge and response for pHABS in the Cape Fear River basin. The unprecedented Microcystis blooms during the summers of 2009-2012 supplied a set of questions about the conditions in the river that facilitated the blooms, the source of the blooms, and the threats the blooms posed to migratory fishes and drinking water supplies. Many of these questions have been answered with more posed, and a communication network has been installed to report and sample for these blooms following standard protocols implemented by the state of North Carolina.


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Explore what the Cape Fear River Partnership is doing to increase fish populations, increase recreational fishing success, and more.

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