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What is the North River Watershed?

The North River Watershed (Watershed Boundary Dataset 03160112) drains an area of about 1,110 km2 in Fayette and Tuscaloosa Counties and is a major tributary of the Black Warrior River. It joins the Black Warrior River at the Fall Line near Tuscaloosa, Alabama. The North River’s water quality use classification is Fish and Wildlife. A 43.48 mile segment of the North

River has been identified on the 1998 ‐ 2008 CWA Section 303(d) lists for nutrient, siltation, and habitat alteration impairments. The source of impairments is listed as aba ndoned surface mining. The 2010 Section 303(d) list identifies both the North River and Lake Tuscaloosa as being impaired by atmospheric mercury deposition. A 1998 Watershed Assessment conducted by the Tuscaloosa Soil and Water Conservation District (TC‐SWCD)

Advisory Committee ranked the North River as their number one
priority impaired subwatershed (Hydrologic Unit Code 03160112‐204). A subsequent county wide assessment conducted in 2007 by the TC‐SWCD estimated that 93,600 tons of soils were eroding each year. Erosion from forest harvesting and streambank degradation was identified as primary contributors to in‐stream sedimentation.

History of North River Watershed

The Plan is a useful watershed management tool designed to identify water-quality problems, issues, and concerns; on-going and future restoration activities, projects, and programs; partners and funding sources; and private sector education and outreach needs.

It is also expected to present sensible strategies to protect, maintain, or improve surface water-quality; protect drinking water; manage non point source polluted runoff; benefit human health and quality of life; protect threatened and endangered species, and enhance environmental awareness for citizens who live, visit, or recreate in the North River watershed. The Plan is expected to be implemented as expeditiously as possible as funding is allocated. The Plan will address many priorities including: watershed-based planning, protection, and restoration; best management practices; education and outreach technical assistance; and institutionalization of the Alabama NPS Management Program. It is expected to increase local environmental awareness by providing opportunities, inspiration, and motivation for partnering among many and varied public and private sectors. It also supports environmental stewardship through watershed planning and implementation efforts of the Alabama Clean Water Partnership. Improvements in water-quality are expected to be realized as citizen awareness is increased, stakeholders become more engaged in watershed-based decision-making processes, and as the watershed plan is implemented.

Improve Water-quality
It is the goal of this Plan to make recommendations which assist in bringing all water-quality parameters within State water-quality standards for Fish & Wildlife as identified in Chapter 335-6-10 of the Alabama Code. This Plan seeks to implement environmentally protective and economically realistic recommendations where practicable and
technologically feasible in order to meet or exceed water-quality standards. BMP types and numbers in this plan are recommendations – but are based on recent studies from credible sources, current land use practices, and watershed activities. Voluntary, incentive-based approaches will be used to implement recommendations throughout the watershed. Providing opportunities for local stakeholder input and participation will continue to be a critical implementation component.

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