Why are marshes important?

Pine Island promises to be a unique experience of the wildness of Currituck Sound and its unparalleled marshes, maritime forests, birds, and other wildlife.

Vital Habitat for Local Wildlife

Marshes were a misunderstood habitat for many years. Historically, people viewed marshes as breeding grounds for mosquitoes and disease, and often drained and filled them in for other uses. 

We now know that coastal marshes are crucial to the environmental health of the region, filtering nutrients and pollution from the water, protecting communities from rising sea level and harsh storms, supporting breeding grounds for commercially valuable fish, and offering recreational opportunities.

By preserving the Currituck marshes within and around the Sanctuary, we preserve suitable habitat and other resources that birds need, and the thousands of waterfowl that return to the Sound every winter. 

Diversity of Marshes

The Sanctuary's brackish to fresh water marshes are affected by wind rather than lunar tides. Marshes are defined as wetlands, frequently or always inundated with water, and characterized by soft-stemmed vegetation adapted to saturated soil conditions. 

There are many different kinds of marshes, ranging from the prairie potholes to the Everglades, coastal to inland, freshwater to saltwater. All types receive most of their water from surface water, and many marshes are also fed by groundwater.

Nutrients found in the marsh support an abundance of plant and animal life, including serving as the breeding ground for much of the seafood we eat.

Learn more about the different types of marshes here:

How you can help, right now