North Carolina Land of Water
The North Carolina Land of Water (NC LOW) is a 501(c)(3) corporation organized to promote long-term sustainable economic development in the outer coastal plain of North Carolina focused on the region’s natural resources and cultural history. Its goals are to
(1) facilitate integration of NC LOW communities through collaboration among the region’s residents, leaders, and businesses to develop and promote resource-based business initiatives;
(2) expand natural resource and cultural history related educational services for K-16 institutions, adult education, and educational tourism opportunities; and
(3) pursue scientific efforts to understand and articulate the natural resource dynamics of the North Carolina coastal system.
The NC Coastal Atlas provides a collection of data layers and thematic maps relevant to this effort, including paddle trails and access points, marinas, hiking and biking trails, historical sites, and sailing and windsurfing locations in the region. The summary list below contains links to thematic maps and individual layers. In addition, each layer developed by the Atlas in support of NC LOW is tagged with a searchable keyword, “NCLOW”.
Featured Story Maps
Two interactive digital story maps were compiled by East Carolina University students in support of NC LOW efforts to engage coastal communities and capitalize on data and assets added to the NC Coastal Atlas. The "Scuppernong Story" recounts the history, cultural and natural resources assets of the Scuppernong River area and historic town of Columbia, NC. The NC Coastal Wind Atlas presents interactive monthly climatology on coastal winds spanning 2009-2012 from the NC Climate Retrieval and Observations Network (NCCRONOS) in support of potential sailing and related wind recreation. This map includes interactive, station-specific wind roses and interpolated maps of wind speeds and average directions for each month April-October.
The Scuppernong Story is the natural and cultural history of a dynamic landscape, its complex and highly diverse ecosystems, and the human inhabitants who were thrust onto a stage of dramatic environmental change and evolution.
A North Carolina coastal wind climatology spanning the years 2009-2012 is presented. 17 stations from the North Carolina Climate Retrieval and Observations Network of The Southeast Database (NCCRONOS) were used to calculate monthly average wind statistics, generate station specific wind roses, and create directional interpolation maps.
NCLOW Maps and Layers
First explored by Europeans in 1584, and inhabited by Native Americans for over 10,000 years, the North Carolina coastal plain has a rich and varied history and cultural. In addition, due to its abundance of natural resources, much of its area is protected through a system of National Wildlife Refuges as well as other conservation arrangement.
With over three hundred miles of ocean shoreline and sandy beaches, and over 12,000 miles of estuarine shoreline, the North Carolina coast and coastal plain is a recreational paradise. Estuarine shorelines include those along the many sounds, intertidal marshes, rivers and creeks, with adjacent wetlands ranging from salt marshes to riverine swamp forests.
North Carolina’s ocean, sounds, and coastal rivers provide many excellent sites for water and wind sports. From motor and sail yacht cruising to small boat motoring and sailing, and from surfing to windsurfing and kiteboarding, amenities are available to enjoy these activities almost anywhere along the North Carolina coast.
This map, developed with support from North Carolina Land of Water (NC LOW), contains layers locating (1) favorite local surf spots, (2) windsurfing and kiteboarding spots, (3) boat ramps and marinas, and (4) ocean and beach access.
Data Catalog Entry
This map layer contains beach and waterfront access sites for North Carolina. It was developed by the Division of Coastal Management.
This map layer combines boating access areas (State Wildlife Resource Commission [WRC] as well as other free and public ramps) and marinas.
This layer display the 940 miles of highways and interstates in North Carolina and Virginia that make up the Charles Kuralt Trail. Each number in the layer corresponds to a National Wildlife Refuge or National Fish Hatchery in the eastern North Carolina and southeastern Virginia. The attributes of these points include site name, address, and website URL for each of the National Wildlife Refuges and Fish Hatcheries.
Markers showing the location of NRHP sites in coastal North Carolina.
This trail highlights the places in the Outer Banks that have kept out shores safe in times of peace and war. Along this trail you will find lighthouses, museums, and monuments that tell the tales of alerting others of our shores.
The Outer Banks of North Carolina is home to some of the most complex ecosystems. The Marsh, Sounds, and Maritime Forest trail will highlight the wildlife of the barrier island system and sound side maritime forest through recreation facilities, trails and learning centers.
Traditions and trades run generations deep in the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This trail along the Outer Banks byway will take you to the places of fishermen, ferry captains, cooks, and fishing guides, that all continue their time-honored heritage.
This map layer features an assimilation of kayak and canoe paddle trails and access locations for launch/take-out. Trails and sites have been compiled primarily for the Albemarle-Pamlico region using NC Paddle Trails Association maps, NC OneMap Recreation layers, and maps from the Mid-East RC&D, Pamlico County Rural Development Panel, and Pam Malec's (2001) Guide to Sea Kayaking North Carolina. (Globe Pequot Press, Guilford, CT),179pp.
This layer provides 320 miles of North Carolina highways and interstates. Each numbered feature in the layer corresponds to an interest site on the Sounds of Discovery Trail.