The Black Creek Watershed Association (BCWA), a partnership working together since 2006, has a Less Rain Down the Drain campaign to improve the stream system's health. This collaborative group is funded by an EPA grant and cost sharing from Town of Cary & NC State University. Public rain gardens from this campaign are on display at West Cary Middle School, Northwoods Elementary School, at Wessex HOA Clubhouse, and along the Beechtree HOA greenway connection to the Black Creek Greenway.
The current effort focuses on engaging business and institutional land owners to help improve Black Creek. We are seeking partners to install demonstration projects and join our efforts.
The Black Creek watershed is 3.3 square miles in area and is located in north Cary, NC. The watershed stretches from downtown Cary to the Weston area where the creek discharges in Lake Crabtree, a flood control reservoir on Crabtree Creek. Highly urbanized, the watershed is nearing build-out with a combination of single home and high density residential, commercial, and institutional development. Classified as Nutrient Sensitive Waters (NSW), Black Creek is on the 2004 NC 303d list with impairment for aquatic life. An assessment found that high volumes and velocity of stormwater runoff from developed areas are causing Black Creek's impairment. Reducing runoff that reaches the creek and its feeder streams will help improve the stream's health.
Include but are not limited to citizens; Beechtree HOA; Wessex HOA; Silverton HOA, several other neighborhoods; Lake Crabtree County Park; Young Marines of Raleigh; Town of Cary; NC Division of Water Resources; Wake County Extension. Participation is welcomed from any citizens or organizations interested in helping to improve Black Creek.
Black Creek is on the EPA 303(d) list for biological impairment due to stormwater runoff in an urbanizing environment. The BCWA, assisted by NCSU and Cary, completed a watershed assessment and management plan in 2009, and began implementing stormwater runoff reduction strategies in 2010 with a new EPA grant and a NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund Innovative Stormwater grant. In late 2009, the EPA approved the management plan as a blueprint for the State of NC and Town of Cary to remove Black Creek from the 303(d) list. Partners continue to work together to reduce runoff.
BCWA goals include:
A. Educational Opportunities
Increase understanding about and exercise stewardship of Black Creek.
Provide clean water for safe physical contact with creek (secondary recreation)
Provide aesthetically pleasing, natural green space for emotional/spiritual experiences
C. Local Economy
Maintain high property resale value
Maintain pleasant pedestrian and bicycle recreation and travel
Improve recreation at Lake Crabtree
Maintain or improve bird watching opportunities
Maintain and increase diversity and abundance of terrestrial and avian wildlife in watershed
Increase diversity and abundance of aquatic animals in Black Creek
** As of July 2014, the BCWA is coordinated by the Water Resources Research Institute. A new BCWA web page will be linked to the WRRI web site.