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ALBEMARLE-PAMLICO ESTUARINE STUDY CCMP
The Albemarle-Pamlico estuary forms a complex and dynamic ecosystem which provides an invaluable bounty of natural resources. The sounds, rivers, creeks, wetlands, and terrestrial areas in the watershed of the system support a variety of uses. We depend on the system to supply food, recreation, jobs, a mode of transportation, and vital habitat for fish and shellfish. In addition, its diverse ecological communities provide a rich natural heritage for humans and wildlife.
Economically, the Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds system represents the estuarine region's key resource base through commercial fishing, tourism, recreation, and resort development. Economic benefits are also derived from uses of the natural resources for mining, forestry, and agriculture. In coastal areas around the nation, human populations and uses of the coastal resources are increasing. The Albemarle-Pamlico estuarine region is no exception. Increases in population and resource use can result in higher conflicts among various groups.
Fortunately, the Albemarle-Pamlico ecosystem is relatively healthy, especially when compared to heavily populated and industrialized estuarine systems in other parts of the country such as Boston Harbor or Long Island Sound. However, several signs of environmental stress have been recognized in the Albemarle- Pamlico system, including: declining fisheries, recent outbreaks of fish and crab disease, frequent blooms of algae, closures of shellfish waters to harvest, losses of historic shellfish and submerged aquatic vegetation beds, and degradation of wetland, fish, and upland habitats. Proactive management efforts can be employed now to avert future, more costly and potentially less effective restoration and recovery measures. This plan responds to current signs of environmental stress with recommendations for protecting the health of the invaluable estuarine system, for both its important ecological role and to support sustainable resource use.
Record Details:Record Type: DOCUMENT
Organization:U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY
OFFICE OF WATER
OFFICE OF WETLANDS, OCEANS, AND WATERSHEDS
OCEANS AND COASTAL PROTECTION DIVISION