Welcome to the Walk the Loop for Clean Water

Come with us on a walking tour of the North Carolina Coastal Federation stormwater reduction projects and see ways we help to keep your waters clean.

How does stormwater affect our community?

Stormwater runoff is the No. 1 polluter of our coastal creeks and sounds. Rainwater flows over hard surfaces picking up bacteria and pollutants along the way.

For Walk the Loop for Clean Water events visit the North Carolina Coastal Federation website:

Upcoming Clean Water Events

Walk the Loop Map

Swipe Left and Right to Navigate:


  • #1 The walking tour begins at the North Carolina Coastal Federation Fred and Alice Stanback Coastal Education Center.

    Walk around the center and you will learn about the many techniques that you can use in your yard or place of business. Such as:

    • A rain garden with native plants that capture stormwater so it soaks into the ground.
    • Permeable paving and walkways that let the rain soak in instead of running off.
    • Cisterns and rain barrels that collect rain as a free source of water for later use.

  • #2 As you walk the loop along W. Salisbury Street between the Education Center and Municipal Lane, look to your left.

    Notice the streets-side swales and small earthen dams. A swale is a water storing ditch built into the landscape. The swale and dams slow down stormwater so it can soak into the ground and not reach the adjacent waters of Lee’s Cut.

  • #3 As you walk past the intersection of Municipal Lane and W. Salisbury Street, look to your left. 


    This rain garden collects and absorbs stormwater that previously drained straight through pipes and into the adjacent waters. This area is planted with native plants and turf that soak up rainwater and prevent runoff.


  • #4 As the Loop turns east and intersects with the outbound lane of Causeway Drive, look across the street to the grassy swale between the inbound and outbound lanes of Causeway Drive.

    With a slight change to the landscaping and the addition of two curb cuts and a raised drain, runoff is directed from Causeway Drive into the grassy median. This prevents polluted road runoff from reaching the storm drains and the nearby waters of Motts Channel.

  • #5 In just a few steps, look along the outbound lane of Causeway Drive and notice the three drains along the road/sidewalk.

    These are reversed stormwater inlets that divert polluted roadway runoff to soak into the grassed area between Causeway Drive and the Arboretum instead of flowing through pipes into Motts Channel.

  • #6 Turn on Bob Sawyer Drive to reach the Wrightsville Beach Public Safety Building.

    Under this building, five 3,000-gallon cisterns capture and reuse stormwater from the roof. This water is reused to water landscaping and ballfields and wash fire and police department vehicles and equipment.


  • #7 Keep walking on Bob Sawyer Drive, which ends at the Wrightsville Beach Recreation Area parking lot.

    This lot features the removal of two 40' x 40' asphalt areas that were replaced with sections of pervious pavement. These small areas can now absorb and infiltrate much of the polluted runoff from the parking lot, protecting the nearby creeks and streams.

    From this stop, it is a short walk on the path next to the tennis courts back to the North Carolina Coastal Federation’s Education Center.