LEARN NC was a program of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Education from 1997 – 2013. It provided lesson plans, professional development, and innovative web resources to support teachers, build community, and improve K-12 education in North Carolina. Learn NC is no longer supported by the School of Education – this is a historical archive of their website.

Cape Fear estuaries

Federal Point basin

Cape Fear estuaries: From river to sea

By Steve Keith

This Carolina Environmental Diversity Explorations “virtual field trip” follows the Cape Fear River from just north of Wilmington to its mouth at Bald Head Island. In this part of the Cape Fear, its estuary, salt and fresh water mix in varying proportions. A balance of river flow and tidal forces shape and define an estuary. This field trip provides high-resolution photographs at various points on the estuary with discussions of the physical, chemical, biological, and political forces that shape it.

This portion of the Cape Fear River is located in North Carolina’s outer coastal plain province in New Hanover and Brunswick Counties.

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