Tar-Pamlico River Basin Analysis

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Figure 1. Map of all River Basins in North Carolina
Path of Water
The Tar-Pamlico River basin begins at the easternmost border of Person County, in North Carolina and extends westward to the Atlantic Ocean. (NCDWQ 2004a) The fourth largest basin in the state (Clean Water Edu.), it’s bordered by the Roanoke River Basin to the north and northwest, the Pasquotank River Basin to the north and northeast, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Neuse River Basin to the southwest and south. Extending from its headwaters in the western Piedmont, the basin terminates at the Pamlico Sound which then dumps out in the North Atlantic. The Tar-Pamlico is also one of four river basins that lie entirely within the state boundaries.(Figure 1)
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Not only is it agricultural runoff from fields, but also people’s yards (those with an excess of fertilizers) that result in the presence of high levels of nitrates and high turbidity.The significance of this on the Tar-Pamlico and the Atlantic Ocean is that with increased nitrogen in the water you're more susceptible to having algal blooms. These algal blooms would not only be located within the river basin but would travel into the North Atlantic ocean, as the water with excess nitrogen is flowing downstream and out into ocean the build up of the excess nitrates in the water around the Pamlico sound would cause a dead zone in the Atlantic of off North Carolina’s shore. This dead zone as well as the algal blooms along the Tar River, Fishing Creek, and Swift Creek would cause major harm to the fishing down in these areas specifically the catching of blue crabs. So in turn not only would general biodiversity be affected as aquatic life in these areas are not longer to get oxygen and die of but fishers who make their living catching these animals also are out of work as there’s none of the crabs or fish to catch anymore, overall leading to a downward spiral in the economy of the Tar-Pamlico River Basin. (Tar-Pamlico River…show more content…
These solid wastes specifically trash such as plastics, fishing wire, and rope are carried down the river and into the Sound and from there pulled into the ocean. Though it may seem as though it isn’t the large of a deal the trash floating over time breaks down but is never fully ridden from the water. This mean that if for example a water bottle were to float into the North Atlantic, the sun over time would help to break down the bonds of the plastic and eventually the plastic would completely dissolve, now this were the problem comes in no longer do you have just one piece of plastic but instead you have tiny pieces of plastic scattered throughout a wider area of the ocean than you did before. The introduction of these solid materials can result in a decrease in biodiversity as animals ingest the small plastic particles or get tangled up in rope, wire or plastic. It can also result in a huge payout of money by the State of North Carolina in an effort to clean up their shores. Since we haven’t found a very efficient cost effective way of cleaning up solid debris in the water not only would this process be long but incredibly expensive. (Fate and
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