Roanoke Sound

Ewa Robinson


The Roanoke Sound is a sound that separates Roanoke Island from Bodie Island of the Outer Banks

Importance of estuaries

Provides economic, cultural and ecological benefits to communities. Estuaries deliver invaluable ecosystem services. Habitats associated with estuaries, such as salt marshes and mangrove forests, act like huge filters for water. They stabilize shorelines and protect coastal areas, inland habitats and human communities from floods and storm surges from hurricanes. When flooding occurs, estuaries often act like huge sponges. Estuarine habitats also protect streams, river channels and coastal shores from excessive erosion caused by wind, water and ice.


North Carolina estuaries is threatened by changes to the land bordering and surrounding the estuaries and by contamination of river and ocean water and increases sediment deposition in the estuary. Global warming is causing sea levels to rise. Rising sea levels threaten the swamp forests, which can withstand only temporary flooding. Sea level rise and storms cause North Carolina wetlands to erode at a rate of about 800 acres per year. Excess of nutrients and toxins can cause an overgrowth of plants in an estuary that can suffocate the environment by taking out too much oxygen.