In January 2006, assessments of stream health by the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR) rated Bolin Creek as "impaired" from Pathway Drive in Carrboro to Fordham Boulevard, adding this section of Bolin Creek to the NC 303(d) list. Downstream portions of Bolin Creek from Fordham Boulevard to Little Creek continued to be on the list from previous cycles. The 303(d) list takes its name from Section 303(d) of the Federal Clean Water Act which requires states to maintain a list of waters that do not meet their intended or designated use(s). Bolin Creek is listed as biologically impaired, meaning that conditions do not support a healthy variety of insect larvae and fish which are indicator species of water quality.
Staff from the Chapel Hill Engineering and Carrboro Planning Departments, NCDENR, and the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) began meeting in April 2006 to discuss water quality issues affecting the two Towns. The Bolin Creek Watershed Restoration Team (Team) was formed from these discussions to assess the condition of the Bolin Creek watershed, and to cooperatively apply for grants to restore and enhance the ecological health of Bolin Creek and its surrounding drainage areas (watershed).
The Team received a Clean Water Management Trust Fund stormwater mini-grant in November 2006 which was used to conduct a detailed geomorphic assessment of Bolin stream reaches. Consultant Earth Tech cataloged areas of erosion, instability, and other high risk locations. EPA’s Science and Ecosystem Support Division also assisted with the geomorphic assessment. The information collected from these efforts was used to receive a 319 Grant for stream restoration, and will be used to develop future work plans and grant applications.