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Study Area

Submerged Aquatic Vegetation Cooperative Habitat Mapping Program

Eastern NC Satelite PhotoThe study area includes the open waters of Currituck Sound and Kitty Hawk Bay, NC along with Back Bay, VA as the northern extent. The average depth of Currituck Sound is approximately 6 feet. The water level in this oligohaline system fluctuates due to wind driven tides. Lunar influence is minimal. Typically salinity ranges from 0.5 - 12ppt. Wind from the North (outgoing tide) generates a freshwater influx from the Northwest River and North Landing River. Southerly winds (incoming tide) bring a saltwater influx from Albemarle Sound and Oregon Inlet via Croatan and Roanoke Sounds. Jean Guite creek connects Kitty Hawk Bay to Currituck Sound in the East while Coinjock Canal connects North River to Currituck Sound in the West. Other important water bodies in this system include Tull’s Bay at the mouth of the Northwest River and Coinjock Bay located North of Coinjock Canal. The Intracoastal Waterway enters Currituck Sound from North Landing River in the North and exits South through Coinjock Bay and Coinjock Canal into the North River and the Albemarle Sound. There are significant protected lands around the system; Mackay Island National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) on Knotts Island, Currituck Banks NWR, Back Bay NWR, False Cape State Park, Currituck Banks National Estuarine Research Reserve, Audubon Society’s Pine Island/Currituck Marshes, and Kitty Hawk Woods Coastal Reserve.

ECSU SealNCDENRUS Fish and Wildlife ServiceNOAA