The population growth and economic development cause increasing nutrient releases to streams and estuaries from agriculture, urbanization, and industrialization. There is evidence that more nutrients enter headwater streams in North Carolina than reach the estuaries, partly because of removal by bottomland wetlands interposed between nutrient sources and the estuarine sink. Nutrients not removed before reaching the estuary contribute to nuisance algal blooms, hypoxic bottom waters, decreased fish and shellfish harvests, and other problems. The objective of this study was to increase the authors understanding of the efficiency with which bottomlands strip out nitrogen and phosphorus from municipal wastewaters discharged to swamp streams. The data wil help determine how much protection to give swamps and bottomlands to maintain their nutrient-removal function. Data from the extensive study suggests that efficient removal of nitrate and phosphate generally occurs where wastewater loading is heavy.