Partnership working to protect Currituck Sound

Currituck County is one of several stakeholders working to conserve and protect the Currituck Sound ecosystem. The group, known as the Currituck Sound Coalition, released a Marsh Conservation Plan on November 30, 2021 that provides guidance for protection of the freshwater marshes in this unique habitat.

Currituck’s partners in this effort include Audubon North Carolina, Albemarle-Pamlico National Estuary Partnership, Coastal Studies Institute, Chowan University, Ducks Unlimited, North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve, National Wildlife Refuge Association, North Carolina Coastal Federation, North Carolina Sea Grant, The Nature Conservancy, Town of Duck, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission.

Located between the North Carolina mainland and the Outer Banks, Currituck Sound spans 153 square miles and is unique in its diverse biology, fresh water, and shallow depth. The freshwater marshes of Currituck Sound provide habitat to a wide variety of wildlife. These marshes face many threats, including increased erosion, encroaching development, and sea level rise. Audubon North Carolina estimates the marshes are reducing at a rate of 70 acres per year.

The Marsh Conservation Plan helps to identify threats to the Currituck Sound and offers solutions to restore and protect the sound. Strategies include conserving existing marshes as well as identifying and protecting areas that could become wetlands in the future as seas rise and the sound changes.

“The Currituck Sound and its marshes are tremendously important, not only to the history of Currituck County but also to its present and future generations,” said Laurie LoCicero, Planning Director, Currituck County. “We are a coastal community with a dynamic environment and the Marsh Conservation Plan will provide valuable input for effective decision-making as the county continues to grow. The Currituck Sound Coalition is a great partner in helping us maintain the vitality of the Currituck Sound.”