From Currituck to Sunset Beach, North Carolina’s coast is a vibrant and dynamic place to live, work, and recreate. The region’s natural beauty and quality of life have led to rapid growth in recent decades that raises important tradeoffs between economic development and environmental quality. Two of the region’s key economic sectors, tourism and fishing, are heavily dependent on its environmental and natural resources. Climate change (sea-level rise, salt-water intrusion, and increased storm frequency and intensity) and water pollution (nutrient loads, chemicals, and sediment) pose a growing challenge to the region’s economy. ARE researchers have responded by investigated a range of timely issues including:
- Economic impact of wild-caught commercial fisheries in the state
- Economic impact of NC’s mariculture industry
- Benefits and costs of off-road vehicle restrictions in Cape Hatteras National Seashore;
- Potential impacts of climate change on recreational fishing participation;
- Impact of water quality on economic production in the region;
- Value of beach nourishment programs;
- Effects of offshore wind farms on coastal property values;
- Value of submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV);
- Oil spills and recreation.
Consistent with NC State’s land-grant mission, researchers continue to share their research findings with stakeholders, policymakers, students, and the general public through outreach and extension publications and presentations.