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NSW Strategies - Tar Pamlico

Nutrient Sensitive Water Management Strategy: Agricultural Nutrient Reduction Strategy

In the mid 1980's the Tar Pamlico River Basin saw an increase in fish kills, harmful algal blooms and stressed aquatic organisms. All of these pointed to excessive nutrient loading to the river basin. In 1989, the Environmental Management Commission (EMC) designated the entire Tar-Pamlico River Basin Nutrient Sensitive Waters (NSW), which required the basin to adopt a nutrient management strategy.

The Agriculture rules effective September 1, 2001 set a goal of 30% nitrogen loading reduction from the 1991 levels and a no net increase in phosphorus. These Rules also required each cooperator to register within one year of the effective date.

For agriculture, these rules provide flexibility at the local level for implementing site-specific practices rather than a one-size-fits-all requirement. Farmers achieve the reduction goal collectively, focusing on critical areas. The local plan provides more options to farmers, tailored to their specific needs.

Since reporting began in 2003, the Tar-Pamlico River Basin has consistently exceeded and gone beyond the 30% reduction goal. The agricultural community has continued to install best management practices to improve water quality and reduce nutrient loading to North Carolina's waterways.

Annual Progress Reports on the Tar-Pamlico Agricultural Rule

Crop Year 2021

Crop Year 2020

Crop Year 2019

Agencies involved in nitrogen reduction planning
Sources of technical and financial assistance
Division of Soil and Water Conservation
NC Agriculture Cost Share Program
Local Soil and Water Conservation Districts
Section 319 NPS Grant Program
USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service
Clean Water Management Trust Fund
NC Cooperative Extension Service
USDA program (ex. Environmental Quality Incentives Program)
NC Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services
Forestry Incentives Program
Division of Water Resources
Tar-Pamlico Basin Association

For more information contact:
NPS Planning Coordinator


NCDA&CS Division of Soil & Water Conservation, David B. Williams, Director
Mailing Address: 1614 Mail Service Center, Raleigh NC 27699-1614
Physical Address: 216 West Jones Street, Raleigh North Carolina 27603
Phone: 919.707.3770

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