Southeast & Caribbean Region

photo from NCDENR

Over 12,000 miles of estuarine shoreline in North Carolina were digitally mapped for the first time and made available by the North Carolina Coastal Management Program, in partnership with NOAA’s Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management and East Carolina University. Estuarine shorelines are found along North Carolina’s broad network of brackish sounds, marshes, rivers and creeks. Estuaries are a unique and important transitional area where fresh and salt water mix.

To create the maps, the estuarine shoreline of all 20 coastal counties was digitized using available aerial photography. The new maps identify shoreline types (e.g., marsh, swamp forest, sediment banks) and shoreline structures (e.g., piers, bulkheads, breakwaters) along estuarine waterways.

 The digital maps can be used by experts to assess shoreline changes, identify eroding shorelines, and better understand development trends. The shoreline data are available for download on the North Carolina Division of Coastal Management’s website.

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