White Oak River Basin
White Oak RBRP Overview
The White Oak River basin (USGS CUs 03020106 and 03030001) covers much of Onslow and Carteret counties, as well as small portions of Craven and Jones counties. The basin encompasses a 1,264-square-mile watershed area, which includes the drainages of four separate river systems: the New River and its tributaries in the southwestern section; the White Oak River and its tributaries; the Newport River and its tributaries; and the North River in the eastern section.
The basin also includes Bogue and Core sounds. Large portions of the basin are publicly owned areas, such as the Croatan National Forest adjacent to the White Oak River, Hoffman State Forest and Camp Lejeune Military Reservation on the New River.
Between 1990 and 2000, the population of the White Oak basin doubled from about 150,000 to over 310,000. Nearly three-quarters of this population is concentrated in Onslow County in the vicinity of the City of Jacksonville. Onslow County experienced a growth of nearly 31,000 (21 percent) between 2000 and 2010, while Carteret County grew by about 6,000 (10 percent).
Other rapidly growing municipalities in the White Oak are Beaufort, Emerald Isle, Morehead City and Newport. Onslow and Carteret counties are expected to grow 14 percent and eight percent, respectively, over the next 10 years.