Carolina Environmental Diversity Explorations

Cape Fear estuaries · By Steve Keith

Zeke's Island and the wall

Figure 11. Zeke's Island and the wall. (Photograph by the author. More about the photograph)

Stretching across the middle of this photos is a cement wall, connecting the southern tip of Pleasure Island to Zeke’s Island (center) and then to Smith Island, to the right. This wall keeps the north/south flow of the river from impacting this fragile ribbon of estuary. At high tide, the water overflows the wall, but sediments are retained. This portion of the estuary contains extensive oyster beds for recreational use. Oysters require moderate water movement to bring oxygen and food and a trip to the ocean inlets on the eastern edge of the estuary will serve to verify that the tides push a lot of water into this habitat. Various species of skates (Raja spp.) and rays (Dasyatis spp.) inhabit this shallow basin, and small sharks have been reported by locals.

Definitions

estuary n.
The mouth of a river where it meets the sea, and where freshwater from the river mixes with the salty water of the sea. [more]
sediment n.
Solid fragments of inorganic or organic material that come from the weathering of rock and are carried and deposited by wind, water, or ice. Sediments may also be formed from chemical, biochemical, or biological materials. [more]