Night-Scape Resources

Northeastern North Carolina Coastal System

In a quest to better understand the nocturnal environment and dark skies of the region, North Carolina Land of Water and A Time For Science designed a study to map and characterize the landscapes, soundscapes, and viewscapes of the Outer Albemarle Peninsula across four eastern NC counties.


PART 1: Pages 1 – 60 describes the night sky and nocturnal environment of the Outer Albemarle Peninusla (OAP)

PART 2: Pages 61 – 156 describes the Night-scape Survey Sites

Read the full report by clicking here.


View the presentation version of the report here, presented at NC Sea Grant Coastal Conference, November 2019. 

City lights of the United States in 2012 by NASA Goddard and created on 12-8-2017. Visible infrared imaging Radiometer Suite.


From a natural history point of view, the Scuppernong coastal system is a “wildlife spectacle” that is sometimes referred to as the “Yellowstone of the East” due to the unique landscapes, diverse ecosystems, and abundance and variety of wildlife. However, there are no raw and awe-inspiring snow-capped mountains, lush high meadows with elk and bison, or geysers with boiling hot springs. Rather, the “Yellowstone of the East” is a more introspective and contemplative landscape that requires one to slow down and become acquainted with that most crucial of natural resources: WATER. This region is North Carolina’s “Land of Water”; a great mixing basin and transition zone where upland rivers meet the sea.

Read the full report by clicking here.  



The Bertie Peninsula is a long and broad finger of land that extends southeast from the Virginia-North Carolina border into the Albemarle Sound. The peninsula is bounded by the Roanoke River system along the southwest and south shores and the Chowan River system along the east shore. The lower portions of both river valleys are being flooded by the ongoing processes of rising sea level to produce the Albemarle Sound and Chowan River estuaries, respectively. The Bertie Peninsula contains a descending scale of ever smaller tributary drainage basins that flow into the larger Roanoke and Chowan trunk rivers to form the “Bertie Water Crescent”. These smaller drainage systems range from mid-scale Cashie River and Salmon Creek to the small-scale of Black Walnut and Cashoke swamps, and the very small, ephemeral streams that form steep canyons riming the highland bluffs.
Thus, the “Bertie Water Crescent” is a complex of different kinds of water drainage systems that are like a series of living organisms, continually interacting with each other and forming a diverse system of associated landscapes and complex eco-systems. Additionally, each of these waterscape and landscape components continuously respond to changing atmospheric dynamics of storm events with their extremes of wind and rain. This dramatic setting of natural resources defines Bertie County with a world-class water system that can be utilized as a foundation for sustainable economic development.
View the presentation version of the report here ( Part 1, Part 2 ) presented at NC Sea Grant Coastal Conference, November 2019.

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