Soybean farm in North Carolina. Soybeans are grown in Alexander County, among others, which borders the Catawba River.

Agricultural Runoff

Agriculture is one of the leading industries in North Carolina, contributing $78 million to the state’s economy and employing 16% of the state’s workforce. The piedmont and foothills regions of NC are home to livestock, nurseries, field crops, and even aquaculture. The presence of these farms inevitably results in the use of fertilizers, pesticides, and…

3/2/2007 Silt runoff caused by new construction in the Westport area. The large area of undeveloped of red dirt is a new 250 acre subdivision called Burton's Creek.   Lake Norman is at the top of the photo. LAYNE BAILEY - lbailey@charlotteobserver.com

Sedimentation

Sediment is comprised of particles from soil and other sources that accumulate in rainwater as it drains off of land into streams and bodies of water. As rainwater drains into streams and bodies of water, it gathers particles from soil and other sources into sediment, which is suspended in the water until settles in the…

Ecology of the Catawba River

The Catawba River Basin is an important habitat for many aquatic and terrestrial species in North and South Carolina. As the river flows toward the Atlantic Ocean, it is fed by many tributaries and, as discussed above, concentrates in several lakes and reservoirs because of the construction of dams. These features make for a diverse…

Catawba Water Quality

The Catawba River was named the most endangered river in the United States in 2008, and the situation has not improved since then. Current trends of development are only exacerbating the problem. 170 millions of gallons of water were pumped from the Catawba River to other river basins every day and the number is estimated to…