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Plastics Impact Water Quality for Fisheries

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Protecting quality of water and quality of life in Coastal North Carolina

Coastal Carolina Riverwatch Launched the Water Quality for Fisheries Program in Early 2021

This project addresses water quality improvement through several collaborative objectives being developed in partnership with fisheries communities.

The purpose of the Water Quality for Fisheries (WQ4F) Project is to identify and address the impacts of water quality on the North Carolina fisheries.

Part of this process includes researching and assessing what is currently being done to address water quality issues that impact fisheries. The assessment part of this project will include what is being done to address sources of pollution from all areas of NC (including those outside of the coastal area). The assessment will also include recommended future actions to address water quality concerns. These recommended future actions will come from the WQ4F research and assessment team and the Industry Working Group. The Industry Working Group is made up of commercial and recreational fishermen.

A research based survey was conducted among NC coastal fishermen to identify prioritized water quality concerns. From these results, it was determined that Plastic Pollution runoff was one of the top five concerns. You may learn more about our on-going assessment here.
“Through research and assessment, we know that plastic pollution impacts water quality, and therefore fisheries.

North Carolinians can help reduce these impacts by:

  • Reducing plastics at the source.

  • Wearing natural non-synthetic clothing.

  • Installing microplastic filtering/reducing devices in washing machines.

  • Picking up plastic litter.

  • Advocate for extended producer responsibility and waste reduction policies.

  • Support plastics research.

  • Buy non-plastic products that are multi-use.

Coastal Carolina Riverwatch (CCRW) staff, board, and members are grateful for the support and collaboration from the commercial and recreational fishing community.

Together, we are identifying recommended future actions to improve water quality through the voices of the coastal fishing community.” -Lisa Rider, Executive Director, Coastal Carolina Riverwatch.

Y5JJ3Mgsz1LVsN21X97AlFCQeGQJhaTV9MJ_SiDKQVAVjPMNlNyDTCm0ZiIZU1t8mst5FmnZ5eBXtopI5HDaJwAfNVFrpY3g_Ke3GqdPq8u6LJeo6vE97g8VVJXZj_AAQxGSE-gC=s0Runoff from Plastic Pollution was identified as a water quality priority among NC coastal fishing communities. This graphic shows how runoff of Plastic Pollutants enters our waterways and the impacts it can have. Graphic: Noah Weaver

Funding for the Water Quality for Fisheries 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.


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