The Pamlico Sound
An Estuary That's Wise Beyond Its Years
By: Austin Carpenter
Where is the Pamlico Sound?
Why is it important?
Estuaries in general are very important because they act as a natural filter for often-times contaminated water. This happens because the plants in this area have spongy roots that often filter out a lot of harmful chemicals in the water. Estuaries are also important because it is a calm environment for animals to live and grow in (hence the reason that many animals lay eggs in the estuaries). The water filtering that happens in estuaries also extracts nutrients from the water, which help return those nutrients back to the soil.
What are so animals/plants that are live in this estuary?
What rivers flow into the Pamlico Sound?
The Pamlico Sound has several rivers and streams flowing into it, but the major rivers are the Neuse River, the Roanoke River, and the Croatan River. These rivers all flow into the Pamlico Sound from different areas bringing fresh water to mix with the salt water of the ocean, forming the estuary.
What are the threats to the Pamlico Sound?
The Pamlico Sound's most common threat is pollution; it seems that while estuaries act as nature's filtering system, sometimes the filtering system becomes polluted! While this leads to cleaner oceans it often times means that the animals that live in the estuary are put in danger. The estuaries are also the area where all the water from the river basins flows into meaning that a lot of the pollution on land is brought out to sea. Threats to the estuary ecosystem also include a single-celled (toxic) organism that grows in the condition of excess nutrients. This organism is called a dinoflagellate. They have often been attributed to the death of animals in the estuaries on mass scales.