Carolina Environmental Diversity Explorations
Cape Fear estuaries · By Steve Keith
Dropping to earth, we’ll visit a salt marsh near Barnard’s Creek, a few miles south of Wilmington’s center. The dominant plant here is salt marsh cordgrass (Spartina alterniflora). Other plants include sea lavender and sea oxeye. The brown zone is a slightly elevated area containing black needle rush (Juncus roemerianus). The many dead cedars attest to the ever-changing conditions in the estuary.
Note the island in the river, formed by dredge spoils over the years, now elevated enough to support small trees. The photographer was standing on a gravel bed, formed in preparation for the erection of a 40-unit condominium that will sit at the edge of this marsh. Conditions in this marsh may be altered a bit in the near future.