Community Conservation Assistance Program

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Community Conservation Assistance ProgramStaff Contact: Heather Dutra
Phone: 919-560-0558

The North Carolina Department of Environment & Natural Resources (NC DENR), Division of Water Quality, has identified nonpoint source pollution as the primary source of degradation of freshwater rivers and streams in NC. One of the most widespread sources of nonpoint pollution is urban runoff. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus from improper fertilizer use can cause algal blooms which result in fish kills. Sediment- the number one pollutant in North Carolina waters- degrades aquatic habitat, fills our drinking water reservoirs, and can reduce outdoor recreational opportunities such as fishing, boating, and swimming.

The Community Conservation Assistance Program (CCAP) was developed in 2006 to address urban contributions to nonpoint source pollution. Through authorizing legislation, Session Law 2006-78, the NC Soil and Water Conservation Commission identified CCAP Best Management Practices (BMPs), developed program rules, and established an average cost list. CCAP will reimburse up to 75% of the average cost of the installation of qualifying BMPs.

CCAP is a voluntary program to help urban and suburban landowners reduce their contribution to nonpoint source pollution; CCAP cannot be used to aid new development, nor meet requirements of existing regulations.

Durham Soil & Water staff give water quality and CCAP-related presentations at community meetings and provide individual landowners free site consultations for drainage and erosion concerns. During site consultations, staff may potentially discuss water quality solutions for these concerns that are eligible for cost-share reimbursement through CCAP. To schedule a community meeting or site visit, contact Heather Dutra ( or 919-560-0558). For individual site consultations, please include a description of the drainage and/or erosion concern and a physical address of the location within Durham County (including the City of Durham).

** Click here for commonly asked Questions and Answers [PDF]

Current CCAP BMP’s include:
  • Backyard RainGarden
  • Backyard Wetland
  • Cistern
  • Critical Area Planting
  • Bioretension Area
  • Stormwater Wetland
  • Well Closure - hand dug only
  • Impervious Surface Conversion
  • Riparian Buffer
  • Streambank Stabilization
  • Diversion
  • Grassed Swale
  • Pet Waste Receptacle
  • Permeable Pavement

NCSSM Sustainability Courtyard Video (2017)
Durham Soil & Water staff worked with teachers and students at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) to design and install a 1,400sf planted area to reduce erosion and a 1,050 gallon cistern to harvest rain water. The school was reimbursed $5,000 through CCAP for these beneficial stormwater management projects with grant funding from EPA 319. (