Rocky Branch Creek

Rocky Branch Creek

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Rocky Branch Creek

Location: Central Campus

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Rocky Branch drains into Walnut Creek, which is a tributary of the Neuse River. In 1978, the Division of Water Quality (DWQ) classified Rocky Branch as the state’s most polluted urban stream. The stream had beenchannelized, its floodplains filled and heavy development filled its drainage area. As a result, the stream was narrow, deep, severely eroded and was an unsafe eyesore on the campus.

Through natural channel design techniques, the restored stream now meanders through a newly created floodplain. Native vegetation provides habitat, cover and food for wildlife. Plantings have increased the width of the forested buffer zone, creating a wildlife corridor and shading the creek. A new trail provides a transportation alternative and brings people close to the creek. New interpretative signs installed along the trail explain the concepts behind the restoration design.

The Rocky Branch project is a part of numerous educational workshops, field tours and presentations, including tours for graduate and undergraduate natural resource students as well as professional agencies and organizations. Presentations about the project are given to high school and college classes and at professional workshops in North Carolina and out of state reaching several hundred people each year.

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