Water Quality for Fisheries

Building stakeholder and public support for improved water quality in North Carolina.

JOIN CCRW’S FISHERIES INDUSTRY WORKING GROUP!

CCRW is hosting more virtual Industry Working Group (IWG) meetings in 2024 and we are looking for fisheries representatives and stakeholders to participate.

What will take place during the Meetings:

There will be a CCRW project update at each meeting to share what is currently being done and assess steps going forward.

Representatives from agencies and organizations working to address water quality issue will be invited to attend and present information.

During each meeting there will be time for the IWG to ask questions and evaluate how CCRW’s work is filling gaps in service.

 

Industry Working Group Stakeholders Should:

  • Represent a Coastal Community.
  • Participate in Commercial or Recreational Fishing at the Coast.
  • Represent a type of fisheries.

Why are we only including Coastal Representatives in the IWG?

We will be assessing water quality issues that come from all areas of the State, however we want to hear the voices of the coastal fisheries community.

Other stakeholders that will be invited to attend meetings, but that will not be a member of the IWG, will include representatives from State and Federal agencies, community organizations, and those directly involved in addressing water quality issues.

Goals of the IWG:

  1. Enhanced the voices of  North Carolina‘s coastal fisheries community.
  2. Collaborated and communicated with fisheries representatives to address concerns about how water quality impacts fisheries.
  3. Collectively learned what is currently being done in NC  to address water quality issues impacting fisheries.
  4. Collaboratively made recommendations on what more needs to be done to improve water quality for fisheries.
  5. Proposed next steps that address gaps in addressing what is not currently being done to address water quality issues.

Do you, or someone you know, fish in North Carolina‘s Coastal Waters (Commercial or Recreational)?

Click here to join CCRW’s Industry Working Group


Tidal Alert: The State of Water Quality and its Impacts on Coastal Fisheries” Trailer

“Tidal Alert: The State of Water Quality and its Impacts on Coastal Fisheries” Film

Program Overview:

Click here for the Water Quality for Fisheries Program Overview

Program Process:


Collaboration:

The Water Quality for Fisheries Program has been developed through collaboration with the coastal commercial and recreational fishing community, water quality researchers, and coastal water quality advocacy organizations.  


Research:

Survey Results Identifying Water Quality Concerns Prioritized by Coastal Fishing Representatives: 

Carolina_Riverwatch_Summary_Report#1

Research and Assessment on Water Quality Concerns Prioritized by Coastal Fishing Representatives: 

WQ4F Assessment 2021-22 Final


Five Water Quality Priorities:

Water Quality Priorities Identified by Coastal North Carolina Fisheries Representatives:

  1. Agriculture and Factory Farm Runoff
  2. Stormwater Runoff from Roads, Highways, and Parking Lots
  3.  Industrial Pollutants
  4.  Plastic Pollution
  5.  Municipal Wastewater Treatment Plants and Septic Tanks

Industry Working Group (IWG):

The IWG is made up of Commercial and Recreational Fishing Representatives.

Goals of the IWG Completed in 2021-22:

  1. Collaborated and communicated with other fisheries representatives to address concerns about how water quality impacts fisheries.
  2. Collectively learned (from the WQ4F Assessment Process) what is currently being done in the State to address water quality issues impacting fisheries. 
  3. Collaboratively made recommendations on what more needs to be done to improve water quality for fisheries.
  4. Proposed next steps that address gaps in addressing what is not currently being done to address water quality issues.

What took place during the IWG Meetings in 2021:

  • Each meeting addressed a water quality concern (prioritized by the coastal fishing community – see list above).
  • A water quality issue assessment presentation was given during each meeting – content included what is currently being done in the State to address that issue.  Issues were prioritized by the fisheries community during a recent survey (initial part of this project). 
  • Representatives from agencies and organizations worked to address the specific issue will be invited to attend and present information. 
  • During each meeting there was time for the IWG to ask questions and evaluate how that issue is being addressed in the State.

2021-22 IWG Members:

  • Thomas Newman – Williamston
  • Mark Hooper – Smyrna
  • Mike Blanton – Elizabeth City
  • Sam Romano – Wilmington
  • Glenn Skinner – Newport
  • Greg Ludlum – North Topsail Beach
  • Joey Van Dyke – Frisco
  • Krissi Evans – Wrightsville Beach
  • Jot Owens – Wilmington
  • David Sneed – Oriental

2022-23 IWG Members:

  • Thomas Newman – Williamston
  • Mark Hooper – Smyrna
  • Glenn Skinner – Newport
  • David Sneed – Oriental
  • Joey Van Dyke – Frisco
  • Jot Owens – Wilmington
  • Jess Hawkins – Morehead City
  • Tanner Michael Lynk – Harkers Island

Click Here to Join the Industry Working Group in 2022-23


Assessment:

The Water Quality for Fisheries Assessment (Assessment) is a living document that serves to address impacts on water quality that are identified by the coastal fishing community. The Assessment has been written by the research and assessment team at CCRW, and includes staff, interns, board members, the IWG (made up of commercial and recreational fishing representatives), and advisors that work specifically on prioritized water quality concerns in North Carolina.  The Assessment has been reviewed by the IWG during meetings that have taken place in 2021. The Assessment is categorized by the following methodologies for addressing each water quality concern: Infrastructure, Policy and Enforcement, Research, and Outreach.

Press Release Announcing Assessment:

Press Release WQ4F Assessment

Click on the Following to Access the Assessment:

WQ4F Final Assessment 2021-2022

Assessments by Water Quality Concern:

WQ4F Industrial Agriculture and Factory Farming Assessment 

WQ4F Stormwater Assessment

WQ4F Industrial Pollution Assessment

WQ4F Plastic Pollution Assessment  

WQ4F Wastewater Pollution Assessment


Public Outreach:

As part of the 2021-22 WQ4F program, a Documentary Film “Tidal Alert: The State of Water Quality and its Impacts on Coastal Fisheries” has been created.  See the top of this page for full access. 

Social Media Campaign Materials in 2021:

Campaign Performance Measures in 2021:

Pre-Campaign Survey 

Carolina_Riverwatch_Summary_Report#2

Post-Campaign Survey

Carolina_Riverwatch_Summary_Report#3


Funding for this project has been generously provided by the Marine Fisheries Commission Commercial Resource Funding Committee and the Funding Committee for the North Carolina Commercial Fishing Resource Fund.


2023 Partners:

Additional Resources:

Demand for N.C. Seafood and the Commercial Industry’s Economic Impact on the State