Articles in regional publications that pertain to a wide range of North Carolina-related topics.
for Coastwatch Vol. Issue , Spring 2001
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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service closed Lake Mattamuskeet Lodge because of structural deterioration in certain sections. Repairs will take at least two years at a cost of $2 million. In the meantime the East Carolina University Field Station for Coastal Studies, which uses the facility, is seeking alternate housing so that the program can continue to operate.
In May 2000, the aquarium at Manteo on Roanoke Island opened after a $16-million expansion project. The largest tank in the facility holds 250,000 gallons of seawater. Knowing that the staff alone could not do all the daily tank cleaning, Pat Murphy and Maura Bourgeois recruited a team of volunteer divers. This group now handles about two-thirds of all tank maintenance.
In 2000, 839 sea turtles stranded along the North Carolina coast, the highest number ever reported. Encounters with boats caused some deaths; net fragments attached to some shells suggested possible entrapment in commercial fishing nets for others. However, causes for 91 percent of the deaths could not be determined.
The North Carolina Department of Transportation maintains the state's remaining twelve coastal drawbridges. To some drivers, they are a nuisance; to boaters, they are an aid in navigating the state's waterways. Green visits with several bridge tenders and reports on their solitary job.
Maintaining a balance between expanding development and the coastal ecology is a must in protecting the fragile coastal lands. Smith discusses the activities of the North Carolina Audubon Society and the Northeast New Hanover Conservancy, two agencies working to preserve the land.
Fourteen varieties of carnivorous plants live in Brunswick County's Green Swamp. Some are small aquatic ones, while others rise to three feet. Species growing there include the Venus flytrap, pitcher plant, and sundew.