New River Basin

By Kendall Binkley and Tiffany Haydt

River Basins

A river basin is the land that water flows across or under on its way to a river. The basin sends all the water falling on the surrounding land into a central river. Everyone lives in a water basin but you don't have to live near the water.

New River Basin

New River Basin is thought to be one of the oldest rivers in the world. The river basin is about 300 million years old. New River Basin has clean, clear water that begins with two streams on the western side of the Blue Ridge Mountains in Watauga County. The two forks of the river meet along the Ashe-Alleghany County line. This river basin flows upward into Virginia and loops back into North Carolina twice before continuing into Virginia. The entire river basin is 918 miles long including all streams and rivers. There are 6 towns within the New River Basin. There are also 3 counties inside of the boundaries of the river basin. The New River Basin takes up 754 square miles of land. The population around the New River Basin was 70,436 in 2010. The major tributaries of the New River Basin are Bluestone River, East River, Little River, Indian Creek, and Greenbrier River.

Some of the Wildlife and Places

Wildlife and Vegetation

120 rare plant species that live in the basin. 70% of those plant species are located in the Amphibolite Mountains. In the river there are many rare fish including 4 that cannot be found anywhere else in North Carolina. Population growth has damaged wildlife habitats and harmed surrounding waters with pollution.

Bogs are generally low-lying flat areas that are desired for settlement and agricultural practice. Nearly 90% of these bogs have been drained. Much of the land disturbances occur from soil erosion because the land is naturally vulnerable.

Places to Visit

Some places to visit when you are at the New River Basin are; Blue Ridge Parkway, New River State Park, Mount Jefferson State Natural Area, Monticello, and Appalachian State University Nature Preserve.

Threating things for the river basin

Water Quality of the New River Basin

The New River Basin has an excellent water quality. The state has classified it as the Outstanding Resource Water because of its ecological importance.

Threats to the New River Basin

Rain water picks up eroded sediments, pesticides, fertilizers, and road salts then carries them into the water which pollutes them. Run-off of animal waste can lead to problems in the water. There is waste running into the water from water treatment plants. A human impact on the New River Basin is land development which can lead to the pollution of water. The major threat to the New River Basin is the population growth which is often accompanied by the removal of a natural area. They damage the wildlife habitats and harm the surrounding water when pollutants wash into them.

Protection for the Future of the New River Basin

Some things to do to keep the river basin alive and clean are litter cleanup, soil and water conservation, buy a license plate from the CWMTF (Clean Water Management Trust Fund) $10 from the purchase will go to protecting the environment, and participating in the events to help raise funds and awareness to the New River Basin.