Members participating with the APNEP facilitated Ecological Flows team pursue collaborative initiatives aligned with the following APNEP Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan (CCMP) actions:

  • A3.3: Develop and refine ecological flow requirements for each major river. Many of the fish, aquatic plants, and other species that live within the estuarine system depend on flowing water to survive.  Identifying these ecological flows will help ensure that these species and ecosystems are protected.
  • D3.2: Facilitate the development and implementation of basinwide water management plans to ensure no less than minimum in-stream flows are maintained. APNEP will work to provide scientific information and engage regional stakeholders to develop and implement water management plans that fully account for both human and ecological demands.

APNEP staff support: Steve Anderson (primary), Stacey Feken, Dean Carpenter

View all Ecological Flows Action Team Meetings Materials


The APNEP Ecological Flows Action team stems from needs identified by members of the Coastal Ecological Flows Working Group, including addressing data gaps in the coastal plain.  The Coastal Flows group was formed by the North Carolina Science Advisory Board established in response to legislation enacted in 2010 directing the former Department of Environment and Natural Resources to develop hydrologic models for each river basin in N.C.  An important part of this bill required the department to determine the flows needed to maintain ecological integrity in surface waters.  The bill further authorized the creation of a Science Advisory Board to assist the department in assessing these ecological flows.  You can find more information regarding the SAB process, including their final recommendations and report.

Current Efforts

The APNEP team began meeting in 2015 and developed an Action Plan in 2016, which called for an assessment and compilation of existing flow, surface, and groundwater data in the coastal plain waterways of the APNEP region.  The analysis also included other water resources data such as water quality, hydrologic, geomorphological, and climatic/meterological data, and sources of flow alterations.  The team contracted with East Carolina University and the resulting Phase I draft report “Existing Data for Evaluating Coastal Plain Ecological Flows in the Albemarle Pamlico Estuary Region” was released August 2018 and presented at the October 2018 team meeting by Dr. Mike O’Driscoll of ECU. 

View the Phase I Report  

Team Members