North Carolina's Estuaries

The Roanoke Sound

Location & Importance

In Nags Head, NC the Roanoke Sound is an important waterway in many ways. It helps to control erosion and reduce flooding on the main land. It is also important to the fishing industry and it brings in tourists due to the beach and other activities in the area. The food brought in by the Roanoke Sound along with the sight seeing activities, that are also good for recreational purposes and tourism, brings in money to North Carolina. The Roanoke Sound is also historical and important events connected to the first English settlers occurred on this waterway.

The Roanoke's Ecosystem

There is a variety of different plants and animals that reside on the Roanoke Sound. There are plants like cattails, black needlerush, giant cordgrass, sawgrass, trumpet creepers, and more. Fish like croaker, grey trout, flounder, and blackdrum can be found while fishing along with blue crabs. A variety of birds can be found in the environment too.

Family of Waterways

The Roanoke Sound is one of the most connected waterways in Eastern North Carolina. It is connected to the Croatoan Sound, the Albermarle Sound, and the Pamlico Sound. It is also connected to the Atlantic Ocean through the Oregon Inlet.

Threats to the Sound

We need to protect the Roanoke Sound from it's many threats, but first they have to be identified. Human actions like land bordering, stirring up sediment, and contaminating the river and ocean is a big threat to the sound. Humans building structures and doing construction work without the proper safety measures being done, harms the sound and can cause erosion, pollution, and the killing of living things in the area. Pollutants can be put in the water intentionally or unintentionally, but it is still bad for the ecosystem. Also too many nitrates and phosphates in the water is not good for the fish and other living things in the water. Too much turbidity kills off fish too, which in turn harms the fishing industry.