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#500476 - 01/08/19 04:16 PM We've got issues
DanaL Offline


Registered: 12/29/18
Posts: 4
Loc: North Carolina
I really don't know how to clearly explain our problem, so I'll throw out a bunch of information and hope that is mostly relevant:

We own some property in NC. Over half of our 5 acres is in an area that is considered a pond, but we don't own the whole pond area. The area was created years and years ago in a swampy section of a swale that feeds a creek that feeds the Cape Fear River. A long portion of one side is a man-made berm which partially washed out in Hurricane Floyd and was then more of a spillway. When we bought our lots 10 years ago, the 'spillway' was built up by the beavers that were living here and it kept the pond full of water.

There were all kinds of fish, turtles, birds, beavers, and plants in the pond. It was healthy, and people would fish it for small-mouth bass, warmouth bass, bowfin, and more. We had bald eagles, heron, osprey, egrets, kingfishers and more. My husband started maintaining the spillway area, especially after another hurricane washed it out even more. The old man who sold us the property and his son who inherited the sub-division were supportive of this, and they realized the value the pond added to the subdivision. All was well and good, until they both died within a year of each other, and...

We were gone in November last year, and someone came in with a backhoe and tore out the spillway. Then they came back 4 more times over the next month and moved rocks by hand to bring the level down more and more. We caught a picture of him using a trail cam, and don't recognize him. No one around we show the picture to knows who he is. We don't know why anyone wanted the pond gone as no one ever complained to us, and there are only 2 other properties that back up to the pond.

Looking for information, we called the guy who is handling the sale of lots in the subdivision who eventually put us in touch with the fiance of the daughter who now owns it. He say he does not know who tore down the spillway, he didn't tell anyone to do it, no one ever complained to him about the pond, and no we may not rebuild it on his land.

We contact the local Corp of Engineers to see if we can move the spillway onto our land - build it here so we can monitor it. We could build it back the way it was, but to move it would take a permit which will be costly and take months and months to process. But if we move it on to our land, do we need a permit? Why?

We desperately want the pond back. We can re-create it by filling in some of our land, but are we allowed to? If we put dirt in this area, if we divert the waterflow, if we impede the waterflow, will we be violating regulations? Whose regulations? What regulations? How do we find out if this area is under someones jurisdiction? If we are not governed by the Corp of Engineers at this point, who can tell us who to talk to? Who would come out to see what we were up to?

The big problem I guess is the fact we only own a certain percentage of the shoreline, which does not include the berm or spillway. But we do own a large part of the pond area.

I hope this makes enough sense to get help figuring out a course of action. I appreciate any advice and clarity of thought!

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#500477 - 01/08/19 06:10 PM Re: We've got issues [Re: DanaL]
nbell Offline


Registered: 05/19/17
Posts: 11
Loc: South Texas
I have no idea about your neck of the woods, but down here you get in major trouble for destroying a natural wetland

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#500478 - 01/08/19 06:39 PM Re: We've got issues [Re: DanaL]
Bill D. Offline


Registered: 10/19/14
Posts: 5710
Loc: Boone County Illinois
I would start with your local Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) office. You should be able to Google them to get their contact info. Tell them your story and ask them what your options are. It may be that what the guy did was illegal by destroying a wetland as nbell stated.
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#500481 - 01/08/19 08:20 PM Re: We've got issues [Re: DanaL]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 126
Loc: NW Kansas
NRCS should sure be able to set you up with the controlling agency for water resources. If it's not labeled as a tributary into a navigable stream or lake, there is no jurisdiction except the landowner.
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#500496 - 01/09/19 07:47 AM Re: We've got issues [Re: Snipe]
DanaL Offline


Registered: 12/29/18
Posts: 4
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: Snipe
NRCS should sure be able to set you up with the controlling agency for water resources. If it's not labeled as a tributary into a navigable stream or lake, there is no jurisdiction except the landowner.


That is what I very much hope to hear. I will be calling the DENR contact for our area today. Fingers crossed!

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#500497 - 01/09/19 07:54 AM Re: We've got issues [Re: Bill D.]
DanaL Offline


Registered: 12/29/18
Posts: 4
Loc: North Carolina
Originally Posted By: Bill D.
It may be that what the guy did was illegal by destroying a wetland as nbell stated.


And there is where there is so much confusion - is it natural? Did he destroy it by removing a spillway? I think originally it was all swampy, then this berm was built to back up part of the swamp to make a pond for horticulture. And if it was illegal, the landowner doesn't care, so could we pursue the issue?

Our big fear at this point is that we do something in ignorance and then find out we violated some serious law.

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#500541 - 01/11/19 12:36 AM Re: We've got issues [Re: DanaL]
Snipe Offline


Registered: 10/26/18
Posts: 126
Loc: NW Kansas
As stated above, if you get a hand from Local NRCS they should be able to tell you #1, If it's a drainage into a tributary in which case they can advise on forward progress and #2, if there was any possibility of it being a recognized wetland area, and 3, if none of the previous conditions exist they can advise what you can or can't do as far as "Damming" something up. Most states have different laws when it comes to surface water but NRCS is likely the best bet in who to talk to. They can help you out I'm sure.
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#500548 - 01/11/19 10:35 AM Re: We've got issues [Re: DanaL]
RAH Offline
Lunker

Registered: 05/17/09
Posts: 4265
Loc: Indiana, Boone County, 25 mile...

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