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Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership

About APNEP


Our mission is to identify, protect, and restore the significant resources of the Albemarle-Pamlico estuarine system.

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Soundings

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Grants

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Soundings

A fresh take on the region's salty affairs 

Submerged aquatic vegetation surveys: A grass act

By: Jim Hawhee, APNEP
January 6, 2015

Hilde Zenil of East Carolina University conducting SAV surveys

Hilde Zenil of East Carolina University conducts surveys

Imagine someone whose only pleasure is to count blades of grass… -John Rawls

Submerged aquatic vegetation. Scientists casually refer to it as SAV and you might know it as seagrass, though the stuff in North Carolina grows mostly in our embayed sounds. It’s extremely important habitat for fish and waterfowl, and by extension it’s important to the hunters and fishermen that reside in and flock to eastern North Carolina.

Like the canary in the coal mine, these aquatic grasses are an important indicator of water quality in the sounds. Specifically, they are sensitive to nutrient and sediment inputs from upstream rivers which can limit how much light they receive. Rough estimates in the 1980s suggested that up to 200,000 acres of SAV existed in North Carolina’s sounds. In 2011, an APNEP-led effort to survey SAV from the air accounted for 138,000 visible acres.

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Partner Reels

Hooking the region's best video clips 

The NOAA Mussel Watch program began in 1986 and is the longest running continuous contaminant monitoring program in the country. Concentrations of contaminants in bivalves and sediments are measured along coasts nationwide. Using an ecosystem-based management approach, the program integrates monitoring, assessment and research to describe the state of our nation's estuaries and coasts. More than 140 chemical contaminants (metals and organics) are monitored by the program. In the Albemarle- Pamlico Estuarine System, sampling of oysters takes place at John Creek , Wysocking Bay, Pungo River, Neuse River, Cape Hatteras, and Pivers Island.

Learn more about Mussel Watch here: "An Assessment of Two Decades of Contaminant Monitoring in the Nation’s Coastal Zone"

 

 

 

Echoes

News and information from the Albemarle-Pamlico region and beyond
more information/disclaimer 

DOT board member: N.C. should pay for sand removal
3/3/15 10:21 AM
The state should pay for removing sand from beach highways the same way it pays for removing snow and ice after a winter storm, a member of the state Board Transportation said.
Raleigh museum was NC’s most visited attraction in 2014
Bill to use sand dollars for dredging touches off furious debate
Top 10: The Outer Banks
Whatever happened to...the wild hogs of Back Bay?
Virginia farmers eligible for $3 million to reduce pollutant runoff
Morehead awaits dredge
Bald eagles, flourishing in Southeast, face bacteria serial killer
UNC study links bacteria in waterways to manure

 

AP Map

Explore the Albemarle-Pamlico watershed

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Have an idea?

APNEP can help get your environmental initiative off the ground, whether it is related to restoration, science, education, engagement, or policy. The first steps? Take a look at our CCMP and learn about our program, approach, and priorities. Then, contact a staff member to discuss ways that APNEP and its partners can support your efforts.

 
 

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