The Pamlico Sound

And All About Estuaries By: Summer Thoma

All About the Pamlico Sound

The Pamlico Sound is located at the Outer Banks of North Carolina. It is in fact the largest sound on the East coast, and it is a very important estuary! The Pamlico Sound it is 80 miles long and 15-20 miles wide. It and other sounds joint together to form the Albermale- Pamlico Sound, which is the second largest estuary in the US. The sound/estuary is fed by the Neuse and Pamlico Rivers, the Oregon Inlet, the Hatteras Inlet, and the Ocracoke Inlet. The sound is boom with marine life! Many endangered animals live there, including great white sharks, basking sharks, and leatherback turtles. There are also many rare species of animals that live there, such as fin whales, and Cuvier's beaked whales. Dolphins and sea turtles are very abundant in these waters, along with countless other species.

What is are Estuaries, and Why are they Important?

Estuaries are bodies of water that are mostly closed off but have an opening meeting the ocean. They are filled with brackish, or a mix of fresh and salt water. They are fed by rivers and by the ocean. They can be called bays, harbors, lagoons, inlets, or sounds. Sixty percent of the world's population live along estuaries. Estuaries have a large biodiversity and are home to many rare and endangered species. Estuaries are very important, because people all around the world rely on the resources that estuaries produce. However, many estuaries are in danger of pollution.

Threats to Estuaries

There are many threats to estuaries. Many things that go on around the estuary will affect it, the life in it, and the life all around it. Things like coastal settlement, marinas, new introduced species, land clearing, sewage dumping, agriculture, road building, fishing, marine farming, channel dredging, and so much more. All of these things pollute the fertile waters that are so important to many living things. Not only pollution from chemicals, but increased amounts of sediment and the changing of the type of sediment can effect an estuary greatly. We can all help to save this vital source of life if everyone does their part. You can donate money to estuary protection programs, and sign petitions that tell companies to stop polluting the water. If you live near an estuary there are many things that you might be doing that you didn't hurt the environment. To learn more, go to http://www.waikatoregion.govt.nz/Environment/Natural-resources/coast/Coastal-ecosystems/Estuaries/Threats-to-estuaries/ .