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Carteret County Water Quality Discussions In NC Related To Beaches, Sounds, Rivers, and Estuaries

Water Quality discussions for the Carteret County NC communities of Harkers Island, Morehead City, Beaufort, Newport, Atlantic Beach, Emerald Isle, and other communities relating to area beaches, rivers, sounds, and estuaries.

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Readers can use the discussion form below to engage in discussions with us and other readers, along with sending us important information about water quality standards, regulations, laws, and education in the local area.

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The beaches, rivers, sounds, and estuaries of Carteret County NC and other areas along the Crystal Coast and southern Outer Banks have a very diverse and beautiful ecosystem for humans and marine mammals. Our local waterways are visited millions of times each year by visitors and tourist who love our small non-commercialized communities, clean waterways, and abundance of commercial fishing, recreation, and tourism opportunities. Thus, water quality on all waterways is of utmost importance if we are to maintain the intersection of human growth and development, and maintaining our pristine coastline, ecosystems and living shorelines.

Aside from the growing frequency of tropical storms and hurricanes, the biggest threat that marine mammals, fisheries, commercial fishermen, and humans face along the Crystal Coast will be the exponential growth of the population within a fixed land mass once Interstate 42 comes onboard.

It will be up to longtime residents and politicians, some who do not live here, to balance this growth and development with conservationism and lessening of environmental impacts.


Considering Interstate 42, what do you think are the biggest impacts, if any, this project will have on waterways such as the Newport River, Bogue Sound, the beaches of Atlantic Beach and Emerald Isle, Core Sound areas near Harkers Island, Shackleford Banks and Cape Lookout? How will the potential of a doubling of the population within a fixed land mass affect clean water?

Do you believe that what seemingly is a greater frequency and strength of cyclones such as tropical storms and hurricanes indicates changes in climate that over the next 20 years could have considerable impacts on area commercial fishing, oyster growing, fishing, and our fragile saltwater marshes and sea turtles?

What level of activism around conservation and environmentalism will be needed to balance out over interests that want to go full steam ahead on construction, technology, and a new population growth which will be needed to attract new businesses and opportunities?

Which shorelines and waterways in Carteret County NC are most vulnerable to over-population, construction, human trash and debris, and climate change impacts?

What organizations currently exist in the county who are already at work thinking of solutions to the growing threat of tropical storms and Interstate 42 concerns for area estuaries, rivers, beaches, and sounds?

Are you a part of any volunteer organizations who help to cleanup human trash and debris from local waterways, or someone who helps to manage nesting areas for vulnerable sea turtles? Are you on any committees in the county who advocate for clean water, shorelines, and other ecosystems?

What are some other concerns centered around water quality in Carteret County NC and adjacent barrier islands did we not cover in this article that you want to discuss or bring attention to for our readers of this website and municipal leaders?

NC Department of Environmental Quality


Newport River, Atlantic Ocean, Bogue Sound, Pamlico Sound, Core Banks, Jarrett Bay, the beaches of Emerald Isle, Salter Path, Indian Beach, Pine Knoll Shores, and Atlantic Beach, Calico Creek, the Intracoastal Waterway (ICP), and numerous smaller rivers and estuaries along South River and North River.

Michael Sharp

Native of Carteret County NC, Father to Makayla and Savannah. You can add me on Facebook. Interest include web development, encryption, and other technologies.

One thought on “Carteret County Water Quality Discussions In NC Related To Beaches, Sounds, Rivers, and Estuaries

  • July 26, 2020 at 2:35 pm

    This is a hard pill to swallow, but the county needs more businesses and good paying jobs to end the hurt many here feel. It is hard to live in the county and places like Morehead City and Atlantic Beach given the prices of homes and rentals. The Interstate is coming regardless of what anybody wants or thinks.

    Juxtapose that with the old town feel of the area and it’s ties to fishing, oyster harvesting, and incredibly diverse marshes, forests, and sand dunes which make our area unique, it is literally going to take developers of this area caring about the environment and protecting the natural resources that make our area unique.

    The bottom line is the boundaries of the county can’t get bigger. We can’t make Bogue Banks bigger. All land masses are fixed. When you crowd more and more people in, there is going to be more trash and debris, more wear and tear, more human intrusion on natural habitats that Bogue Sound, the Newport River, South River and North River, and Core Sound supports.


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