Watershed Facts

The Outer Banks of North Carolina is one of the few remaining natural coastal barrier island systems in the world.

Cape Fear River Basin

The Cape Fear River Basin has 6,049 miles of streams and rivers.

The Cape Fear River Basin covers 9,322 square miles, and it begins and ends in North Carolina.

The Cape Fear River is the only river in North Carolina that flows directly into the ocean.

The Cape Fear River Basin contains 25% of North Carolina’s total population.

The Cape Fear River Basin is North Carolina’s largest river basin.

The Cape Fear River Basin supports 95 different species of fish that support commercial and recreational fishing.

The Cape Fear River Basin has 32 reservoirs, including B. Everett Jordan Reservoir (“Jordan Lake”), the largest lake in the basin at 46,768 acres.

Neuse River Basin

At 248 miles, the Neuse River is the longest river within North Carolina.

The Neuse River has 3,497 miles of streams and rivers.

The Neuse River covers 6,235 square miles and is contained entirely within North Carolina.

Large quantities of nutrients from polluted runoff are the biggest threat to surface water quality in the Neuse River estuary.

The Neuse River Basin contains a 100-foot canyon carved by the river near Goldsboro.

The Neuse River is home to the water dog salamander, the rare Carolina madtom fish, and the panhandle pebble snail.

Tar-Pamlico River Basin

The Tar-Pamlico River Basin covers 5,571 square miles and is contained entirely within North Carolina.

The Tar-Pamlico River Basin has 2,335 miles of rivers and streams.

The Tar-Pamlico River Basin is the fourth-largest river basin in North Carolina.

North Carolina’s largest natural lake, Lake Mattamuskeet, is located within the Tar-Pamlico River Basin.

North Carolina’s largest producers of tobacco, corn, and wheat are located in the Tar-Pamlico River Basin.