Albemarle-Pamlico Sounds: Issues, Resources, and Management (
by Ford A. Cross, NOAA, Beaufort, NC, USA,
Document Type: Proceeding Paper
Part of: Coastal Zone '87
The Albemarle-Pamlico Sound complex, located in northeastern North Carolina, is the third largest estuarine complex in North America and the second largest in area in the United States. This estuarine system is actually a coastal lagoon separated from the ocean by a system of barrier islands. Currently, changes in land use patterns within the drainage basins, with a trend toward urbanization and large-scale farming, have resulted in increased nutrient and sediment loading. These activities have caused eutrophic and anoxic conditions to exist during the summer months and several large fish kills have occurred in recent years. As the watersheds and adjacent lands of the Albemarle-Pamlico Sound complex continue to be developed, environmental stress on this highly productive estuarine system probably will increase as well.
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