Topics Related to APNEP Projects

Mapping North Carolina's underwater meadows from 11,000 feet in the air

APNEP's Summer Intern Searches for Ways to Spread the Word about North Carolina's Aquatic Invasive Species

Hello Soundings Blog readers!

Most of us are familiar with North Carolina’s grassy meadows, fields, and lawns, but did you know that our state’s coastal rivers and sounds harbor underwater meadows of their own?

Standing by the sandy bank of the Neuse River just east of Raleigh, a 5th-grader holds out her small plastic cup, and at first glance it looks like there's nothing inside it but water.

North Carolina’s Natural Heritage Program (NCNHP) has been exploring the natural areas of the Albemarle-Pamlico region throughout most of its 40-year history.

“Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, is that how it goes?” chuckles Jimmy Johnson, the Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership’s (APNEP’s) Coastal Habitats Coordinator.

Teachers waded through the shallow water of Bogue Sound, laughing and shouting as they searched the estuary’s sandy bottom for signs of life. Behind them, gnarled maritime forest backed shoreline-fringing salt marshes.

The ebb and flow of water guides the rhythms of the natural world. Rivers and creeks swell with spring rainfall, life blooming along their banks. Small streams become inhospitable channels of rock and sand during the hot months of summer.

With the demolition of Raleigh’s Milburnie Dam in November 2017, the Neuse River now flows freely from Falls Lake to Pamlico Sound for the first time in over a hundred years.