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Between February 2002 and March 2003 ECWA drafted a plan that identified its goals for preserving the watershed and listed specific recommendations to meet these goals. The initial version of the plan is available for your review and comments.

This page contains a brief introduction to the organizational context for the plan and names the stakeholder group responsible for this plan. The links below provide access to the plan's executive summary, the full plan (in Adobe © PDF format), and an email link for you to make your questions, comments, and suggestions known to the ECWA Board of Directors.


An Executive Summary of the Plan

The Complete Watershed Plan (PDF)

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In February of 2002, the NCWRP convened the Ellerbe Creek Stakeholders Team. The stakeholders met sixteen times, finalizing the Ellerbe Creek Local watershed Plan in March of 2003. The following stakeholders participated in the watershed planning process and were party to the final plan:

  • John Cox - Durham Stormwater Services
  • Chris Dreps - Upper Neuse River Basin Association
  • Stephen Hiltner - Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
  • Julie Holmes - Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
  • Jane Korest - Durham City/County Planning
  • Robert Louque - Durham Stormwater Services
  • Noland Martin - Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
  • Michele Nowlin - Friends of South Ellerbe Creek
  • Chris Outlaw - Durham Stormwater Services
  • Joshua Rose - Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association
  • Leigh Scott - Durham Central Park
  • Melissa Vernon - Duke University

The Upper Neuse River Basin Association (UNRBA) was formed in 1996 to provide an ongoing forum for cooperation on water quality protection and water resource planning and management within the 770-square-mile watershed that drains into Falls Lake. The 8 municipalities, 6 counties, and local Soil and Water Conservation Districts in the watershed voluntarily formed the Association. The mission of the UNRBA is to preserve the water quality of the Upper Neuse River Basin through innovative and cost-effective pollution reduction strategies, and to constitute a forum to cooperate on water supply issues within the Upper Neuse River Basin.

In 1998, the North Carolina Wetlands Restoration Program (NCWRP) in cooperation with the UNRBA received an Environmental Protection Agency Wetlands Program Development Grant. One of the grant deliverables was development of the Upper Neuse River Basin Watershed Management Plan. The intent of this plan was to analyze current and future water quality conditions and strategies to address water quality concerns.

During the development of this plan, municipal and county government representatives identified water quality within water supply reservoirs as their highest priority along with limits to recreational use and habitat protection as other priorities. Based on these ranked priorities, the UNRBA and the NCWRP determined that the Ellerbe Creek watershed, located within the Upper Neuse River Basin, was an appropriate candidate for a Local Watershed Plan (LWP) (see Figure 2 on page 3). The goals of this plan will work to address Ellerbe Creek’s long-term poor water quality and protect water quality in the Falls Lake water supply reservoir.

The Ellerbe Creek Local Watershed Plan development was initiated in February 2002 to provide more detailed information pertinent to the Ellerbe Creek Watershed. All information prepared and presented in the Ellerbe Creek LWP compliments the purposes outlined in the Upper Neuse River Basin Watershed Management Plan. For more information about the Upper Neuse River Basin Watershed Management Plan, see

Watershed residents and other stakeholders played a vital role in the creation of a Local Watershed Plan. Local Watershed Plans provide an important opportunity for local stakeholders to shape the future of their watershed. Through the local watershed planning process, these groups, like the Ellerbe Creek Stakeholder Team, work cooperatively to identify issues, set priorities, develop strategies, secure funding and implement protection and restoration projects within their communities. By integrating stakeholder participation into plan development and implementation, the local watershed plan for this Ellerbe Creek Watershed becomes a blueprint for strategically implementing local projects through partnerships with local governments, citizens, nonprofit organizations, and state and federal agencies.