Stormwater management in Nags Head is a complex balancing act between several competing factors such as economic development, natural resource perseveration, flood control, and water quality. Development and redevelopment create a feedback loop with respect to stormwater runoff. As development occurs, stormwater runoff increases from the addition of hard surfaces, reducing the ability to infiltrate into the ground. Vegetation removal and the importation of fill material to support development can decrease evapotranspiration and eliminate natural drainage features and areas of infiltration. More stormwater runoff enters the system, thus continuing the cycle.
Frequent flooding can curtail investment and tourism in a town where tourism is a critical part of the economy. The desire to limit flooding must be tempered by the need to limit pollution from entering the adjoining surface waters of the Roanoke Sound and Atlantic Ocean. Degraded or polluted waterways can lead to beach and shellfishing closures, which also has an impact on tourism and the economy.
The Town of Nags Head believes that good environmental stewardship includes providing a safe and healthy place for residents and visitors to live, work, and play. The Town also believes that this can be done in an environmentally sensitive manner. Working together we can manage stormwater more effectively to protect our local water resources and our community.
Nags Head’s Stormwater Management Program works to improve the collection, treatment, and transportation of stormwater runoff through publicly owned infrastructure while enhancing pollutant removal prior to discharging to receiving waters. Program responsibilities include maintaining and repairing existing facilities, constructing new facilities, educating the public, and developing plans.
Learn more about the current stormwater services provided by the Town.
Nags Head previously collected a stormwater utility fee through the water bills of all Town water customers. In 2016, the utility fee was converted to a one cent ad valorem tax. The ad valorem tax was increased in 2018 to two cents, which equates to approximately $470,000 annually.
These funds are reserved for stormwater management purposes only and used to support activities to mitigate localized flooding and enhance water quality within the town.
Learn more about stormwater management funding and related expenditures.