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A fresh take on the region's salty affairs
By: Jim Hawhee, APNEP
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.
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"
News and information from the Albemarle-Pamlico region and beyond
DOT board member: N.C. should pay for sand removal
3/3/15 10:21 AMThe 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
3/3/15 10:19 AMThe North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences in Raleigh was the most visited historic attraction in 2014.
Bill to use sand dollars for dredging touches off furious debate
3/3/15 10:18 AMA marathon Dare County Board of Commissioners meeting that started out weighing the pros and cons of using occupancy taxes for dredging quickly devolved Monday into a fishing versus business debate pitting the value of Oregon Inlet against beach nourishment.
Top 10: The Outer Banks
3/3/15 10:01 AMIn air, on land, at sea. Naturally, plenty of amazing outdoor experiences and tourist attractions are available on the Outer Banks.
Whatever happened to...the wild hogs of Back Bay?
3/2/15 10:02 AMAt this time last year, the wild hogs that roam the public lands south of Sandbridge seemed poised to multiply.
Virginia farmers eligible for $3 million to reduce pollutant runoff
3/2/15 9:59 AMRunoff from farmland has been called the largest source of pollution in the Chesapeake Bay.
Morehead awaits dredge
3/2/15 9:42 AMIt may be four to six weeks before a dredge will arrive to alleviate shoaling at the Morehead City Harbor and port pilot Capt. Andrew Midgett said the sooner the better.
Bald eagles, flourishing in Southeast, face bacteria serial killer
3/2/15 9:39 AMWorking late in a tiny Arkansas lab, Susan Wilde found herself alone with a killer.
UNC study links bacteria in waterways to manure
2/27/15 11:34 AMResearchers based at the University of North Carolina say experiments using DNA tests found that large-scale hog farms in North Carolina are allowing hog manure wastewater to pollute rivers, streams and other surface waters.
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.