College of Agriculture and Life Sciences
NCSU Water Quality Programs


River Basin CharacteristicsClick here

The Pasquotank River Basin is located in the northeastern corner of North Carolina. The land area of this drainage basin is 3,635 square miles with only 464 stream miles. Most of the water resource effort in this basin is focused on the estuaries and wetlands. There are 868,000 acres of saltwater in the basin. Land use in this basin is primarily agricultural, with widespread use of drainage canals.

Counties Within the Pasquotank River Basin

The counties contained in the Pasquotank River Basin are Camden, Chowan, Currituck, Dare, Gates, Hyde, Northampton, Pasquotank, Perquimans, Tyrrell, and Washington. Approximately 1.5% of the population (97,215) lives in this drainage basin. A significant increase in the population of this river basin is of concern since options for wastewater treatment and water supply are extremely limited.

Water Quality in the Pasquotank River Basin

Ten percent of the surface freshwater resources (streams) are impaired primarily by agricultural activities.

The estuaries support important shellfish resources, and 1% of these resources are impaired by fecal coliform bacteria. Polluted runoff from urban runoff, spetic tanks, and marinas, are the major sources of this pollution.

N.C. State University Water Quality Projects & Programs

In addition to the basin-level project on pasture and waste management, North Carolina State University researchers are conducting 17 regional projects that are directly applicable to this river basin. Some of these projects target the effects of water pollution on the aquatic resources, while other projects focus on the control of polluted runoff from agricultural land uses. There are also urban stormwater control projects.