Located in the Neuse River Basin, the Hornpipe Branch Tributaries Project is a North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Mitigation Services full-delivery stream mitigation project. Situated in the North Carolina Coastal Plain Physiographic Province within the Neuse 02 HUC 8 Watershed, land use is comprised of agriculture, forest, and low-density residential use. Listed by the NCDEQ as a Class C and Nutrient Sensitive Water, Hornpipe Branch watershed restoration priorities included stream buffer, unstable stream banks, and agricultural runoff.
Through WLS’s development of specific goals and objectives to provide in-lieu fee compensatory mitigation credits to DMS based on existing conditions, functional capacity, and restoration potential, we reconnected historic flow paths, promoted natural flood processes, and provided numerous water quality and ecological benefits to the local watershed.
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Knowing WLS understands the ever-evolving regulations and the technical site conditions makes a huge difference in our interest level of working with the team at WLS. As new relationships need fostering in land owners, developers, homeowner associations and local municipalities, it’s even more important to us that who we partner with can meander the mine fields of the process delicately and diligently.
I met Nate in 2010 while working on the Crabapple stream and wetland mitigation project. We have worked together on several successful projects throughout the Appalachian Region since then. If I had to choose one word to best describe Nate, it’s trustworthy. I trust him as a friend, a colleague, and a stream designer, and would recommend him to anyone.
Working with Water and Land Solutions has been a great way to help improve aquatic habitat on our properties while stabilizing the streambanks and creating an overall better ecosystem and a multitude educational opportunities for visitors. The diversity and complexity built into the enhancements designed by Water and Land Solutions and their staff are only surpassed by the sustainability of the final stream system once it has been restored.
WLS has responded to, and been selected for, multiple private bank contracts with NCDOT across the state through a competitive bid process. They have delivered stream and wetland bank credits that will be used for compensatory mitigation for NCDOT roadway projects over the next several years.
North State Environmental had the opportunity to work with WLS on two great projects in 2020 that had tight timelines, as many mitigation projects do. Our staff worked closely together to expedite construction, ensuring that both were completed in time to be planted during the dormant season. Even though the weather and field adjustments attempted to slow down the construction, the NSE crews and WLS staff worked to overcome these issues and build successful projects.
Unique Places to Save is a conservation non-profit that works with mitigation company partners, landowners and regulators to hold perpetual conservation easements over stream, wetland and species mitigation projects. We have worked with WLS on numerous mitigation banks in North Carolina. We enjoy working with WLS due to their superior level of professionalism and high standards of quality work on all their projects. WLS not only understands the science and economics of mitigation work, but also understands the needs and concerns of landowners, partners and local communities when conducting their mitigation practice.