Carolina Environmental Diversity Explorations
Cape Fear estuaries · By Steve Keith
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.