Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention

Nonpoint Source Pollution Prevention:
Clean Water Act 319 Program

Project Manager – Ken Clark, Director, Water Resources Division

Key Staff:  Alicia Helfrick, Water Resources Specialist; Casey McCormack, Technician III

Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution is the leading cause of water quality problems in the United States. NPS pollution can include:

  • Excess fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides from agricultural lands and residential areas;
  • Oil, grease and toxic chemicals from urban runoff and energy production;
  • Sediment from improperly managed construction sites, crop and forest lands, and eroding stream
  • Salt from irrigation practices and acid drainage from abandoned mines;
  • Bacteria and nutrients from livestock, pet wastes and faulty septic systems; and
  • Atmospheric deposition and hydro-modification.
    Image result for nonpoint source pollution


The goal of the NPS Management Program is to reduce NPS pollution on the Nez Perce Reservation, restore and maintain degraded systems/habitats, preserve natural ecosystems, and educate landowners and the general public. To date, the program has fenced over 100 miles of stream, planted several hundred miles of riparian vegetation, assisted landowners in no-till farming practices, obliterated or repaired roads that were negatively impacting water quality and helped to install off-site watering structures for livestock.

What is nonpoint source pollution?
The EPA explains! >>

NonPoint Source Pollution Reduction Projects:



You can navigate to a location with more information about any of the watersheds by clicking on its’ area

Watershed Res

Watersheds Not Listed On Map

Tom Taha Creek Watershed

Threemile and Butcher Creek Watersheds

Hatwai Creek Watershed

Beaver Project


Beaver Basics
Information utilized from http://animal.discovery.com/mammals/beaver/
The beaver, the second largest rodent in the world, is well-known for its wide, flat tail, used for slapping the surface of the water to warn other beavers of approaching danger. Trees provide a beaver’s favorite winter food — bark and leaves. In summer other vegetation, especially aquatic plants, make up their diet.

The American Beaver
The American beaver can be found throughout North America, except for the most northern parts of Alaska. Like other beavers its feet are webbed for better swimming. The ears and nose snap shut when the animal dives underwater, and the eyes have a third transparent eyelid that helps the beaver to see below the surface of the water. Its dense, yellowish-black, black or reddish-brown fur retains body heat even in the coldest water. A secretive and nocturnal creature, it is awkward on land and thus vulnerable to predators.

Mounds, Burrows and Lodges
Four to eight family members make up colonies and territories are marked with scent mounds —piles of mud that the beavers scent with glandular secretions. Beavers sometimes reside in a burrow at the water’s edge, but more often can be found setting up house in a dome-shaped lodge, built with branches and trees cut down with its large incisors.


Importance of Beavers


From an ecological standpoint, beavers are one of the most important animals in Georgia. Other than man, no animal makes such dramatic landscape changes to the habitat in which they live. Ponds created from beaver dams provide excellent wetland habitat for numerous plants and animals. Beaver ponds are critical habitat for many species of waterfowl and other migratory birds.

Landowners benefit from having beaver ponds on their property in the form of additional hunting, fishing and bird watching opportunities. Beaver ponds are useful for irrigation, flood control and help maintain water tables during droughts. Beaver ponds also act as a natural filtration system, removing silt and other impurities from water.


Historically, beavers had a positive impact on the economy and were the most widely and intensively sought natural resource in North America during the 1700’s and 1800’s. Their fur was used for clothing, especially hats in Europe during the 1800’s. Oil from their castor glands was an essential component in many high quality perfumes. Beaver coats and other garments were extremely desirable throughout much of North America.

Today, beavers remain one of the most valued fur sources, yet prices remain relatively low. However, beavers are still desirable for coats, hats and other outer garments and their castor glands are marketable for use in the lure or perfume industry.

In recent times, beavers are considered by some to have more negative economic impacts than positive:

Ball Flooding caused by dams may result in damaged timber, crops or pasture.
Ball Highway departments may spend thousands of dollars every year attempting to clear beaver
plugged culverts or paying trappers for nuisance beaver removal.
Ball When feeding, beavers girdle and destroy trees and shrubs, some of which are highly valued and
Ball Beavers will feed on agricultural crops, especially corn and soybeans, resulting in diminished yields
for the  farmer.
Ball Beavers often may damage fish and farm ponds through den and dam construction

Please navigate to the documents and reports listed below to see how we are working to strike a  balance between ecology and economy. 

Beaver dams and overbank floods influence groundwater

Applying Beaver Modifications to Baseline
Conditions for Restoration of Forested Headwaters

Alteration of North American Streams by Beaver

Assessing the potential for using beaver dams
to restore the effect of the aggradation on riparian habitat.