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Microbial Source tracking
Microbial Source Traching Lab ResearchBeginning in 1999, Dr. Nancy White, director of UNC-Coastal Studies Institute began leading an ongoing project to assess bacterial loading in estuarine environments and improve management programs through watershed monitoring and reviewing TMDL modeling techniques. TMDL, or Total Maximum Daily Load, is a water quality standard each state should establish, set in place by Section 303(d) of the Clean Water Act established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. 
In a 2003 conference, Dr. White summarized the BST project; “The agencies involved initiated a program to use Multiple Antibiotic Resistance and ribotyping in conjunction with watershed-based hydrologic analysis in a toolbox approach to assist in the identification of sources and loading rate of fecal coliform bacteria in three North Carolina estuarine watersheds. This effort is a multi-agency, multidisciplinary effort that is 1) investigating sources and loads from two watersheds with active crop and forestry agriculture; 2) comparing and contrasting transport vectors and watershed processes contributing to the problem, 3) developing program protocols for monitoring and management strategies within NC-DEH Shellfish Sanitation program to further their capabilities to protect public health, and 4) transferring this information to the scientific community, students, state agencies, and the public.”
UNC-Coastal Studies Institute
UNC-Institute of Marine Sciences
NC Division of Health, Shellfish Sanitation Program
Duke Marine Laboratory
NCSU Water Quality Group
NOAA/NOS Center for Coastal Environmental Health and
   Bimolecular Research
Carteret Craven Electric Cooperative
Jumping Run Creek Watershed Citizens
Croatan National Forest
Open Grounds Farm
NCDENR Division of Water Quality, 319 Program
NC Clean Water Management Trust Fund
NC Wetland Restoration Program

Goals and Objectives
  • Implement and assess Bacterial Source Tracking (BST) technology in North Carolina as part watershed-based toolbox approach to reduce bacterial loading.
  • Review TMDL process using BST/Toolbox data.
  • Review/recommend management strategies.
  • Disseminate information to coastal local governments.
  • Incorporate information into coastal environment management/policy curriculum.
Study Sites
  • Jumping Run Creek
  • Open Grounds Farm
  • Croatan Forest
Related Presentations (PDF’s)
Initial Project Presentation
Preliminary Results Summary 2005
Final Report 2006
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UNC Coastal Studies Institute
UNC Coastal Studies Institute
850 NC 345, Wanchese, NC 27981 tel. 252-475-5400 fax 252- 475-3545