Who Are We?
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Heal Our Waterways is a City of Wilmington-led initiative to restore Bradley and Hewletts Creeks. By taking simple, low-cost measures like installing rain barrels, rain gardens, or rerouting gutter downspouts, we can all help improve water quality in the creeks and Heal Our Waterways!
Rain makes runoff. Runoff collects pollutants.
Stormwater runoff occurs when rainwater flows over impervious, or hard surfaces, picking up pollutants like pet waste, vehicle fluids, litter, and fertilizer and carrying it, untreated, directly to our waterways.
...millions of gallons of polluted stormwater runoff flow directly into our waterways, causing shellfish closures and swimming advisories. High levels of bacteria in runoff have caused shellfish closures in Bradley and Hewletts Creeks and swimming advisories in Banks Channel near Wrightsville Beach. Luckily, we can help! By installing BMPs, we can turn back the clock on stormwater pollution and help to Heal Our Waterways!
Then and Now: Hewletts Creek
Before our area had been significantly developed, the natural landscape was able to absorb rainfall, allowing it to soak into the soil. Once there, it was filtered naturally before reaching our waterways. Now, with increased roads, parking lots and rooftops in our area, stormwater runoff gets carried to our waterways much faster. How can we help to slow down and absorb polluted stormwater runoff before it drains into our waterways? With BMPs!
Notice the change in landscape that occurs from 1981 to 2010. New development is outlined in orange.
What is a BMP?
Best Management Practices, or BMPs, are simple things we can do to decrease and prevent stormwater pollution. Some BMPs are personal actions we all can take, like picking up after our pets, while other BMPs can be installed on our properties, such as rain gardens and rain barrels. The graphic below outlines several BMPs property owners can install to help heal the Bradley and Hewletts Creek Watersheds!
...in fact, you're in one right now! A watershed is an area of land that drains runoff to a particular creek, lake, or larger waterway.
Watersheds come in all shapes and sizes. They cross county, state and even national boundaries. There are thousands of different watersheds in the continental US, and everyone lives in one!
Click the map to enlarge and find your watershed!
Want to Learn More About the Bradley and Hewletts Creeks Watershed Restoration Plan?
Click here to access the entire plan.