Cape Fear Arch

A Collaborative Voice for Nature

The Cape Fear Arch is a special geologic feature stretching from Cape Lookout, NC to Cape Romain, SC that contains nationally significant animal and plant communities.

Created in 2006, the Cape Fear Arch Conservation Collaboration is a partnership of organizations and individuals interested in protecting this region while balancing the needs of man and nature.

Its mission is to develop and implement a community conservation vision to build awareness, protection and stewardship of the region’s important natural resources.

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Cape Fear Arch 4th Quarter Meeting

  • Learning Center at the Museum of Coastal Carolina 210 East Second Street Ocean Isle, NC 28469 USA (map)

8:30 – 9:00           Coffee and Converstaion

9:00 – 9:30           Attendee Introductions and Updates

9:30 – 10:00        Introduction to CISA & the NIDIS Carolinas DEWS Program

Amanda Brennan, CISA

The Carolinas Integrated Sciences & Assessments (CISA) is collaborating with the National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) to develop a drought early warning system (DEWS) for the unique coastal ecosystems in the Carolinas. Amanda will give a brief introduction to both of these programs.

10:00 – 10:30      Ecological Indicators of Drought in Coastal Ecosystems

                                Casey Nolan, East Carolina University

Casey Nolan will share findings from a series of interviews conducted with coastal land and resource managers to identify opportunities for drought early warning and monitoring in the Carolinas. Interviewees provided feedback on the use of existing or potential new indicators or indices as well as additional data and research needed to effectively understand and monitor drought in coastal ecosystems.

10:30 – 11:00      Development of a Coastal Drought Index

Paul Conrad, USGS South Atlantic Water Science Center

Salinity is a critical coastal response variable that integrates hydrological and coastal dynamics including streamflow, precipitation, sea level, tidal cycles, winds, and tropical storms. The location of the freshwater-saltwater interface in surface water bodies along the coast is an important factor in determining the freshwater and saltwater aquatic communities, fisheries spawning habitat, and the freshwater availability for municipal and industrial water intakes. Paul will give an overview of the Coastal Drought Index which uses salinity data as a measure of wet and dry conditions in coastal surface waters.

11:00 – 11:30      Assessment of Drought Indicators for Coastal Zone Fire Risk

Ryan Boyles, State Climate Office of North Carolina

Fire plays an integral part in terrestrial ecosystem management across the Carolinas. Controlled burns are used to reduce the risk of wildfire and manage species diversity in forest ecosystems. Ryan Boyles will share the results of research conducted by the State Climate Office of North Carolina to evaluate which, if any, drought indices are most suitable in representing local risk of fire in the organic soils of the coastal Carolinas region.

11:30 – 12:00      Understanding Rapid Environmental Change at Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge

John King, North Carolina State University

Rising sea levels are impeding draining in the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, leading to a cascade of ecosystem transitions, affecting wildlife habitat quality in the Refuge. John King will describe research his team is conducting to understand the effects of historical ditching and draining on soil water dynamics and salinity.

12:00 – 1:00        Networking Lunch

                                Lunch will be provided for free

Earlier Event: October 3
Lock & Dam #1 Centennial Event
Later Event: February 24
1st Quarter Meeting

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