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Our State Geography in a Snap: The Coastal Plain Region

Reprinted with permission from the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction website.

See also:
Extended entry on the Coastal Plain (from NC Atlas Revisited)
Extended entry on the Coastal Plain (from the Encyclopedia of North Carolina)

Related Entries: Coastal Life; Settlement of the Coastal Plain; Roanoke Island: The Lost Colony; Mountains; Piedmont, Regional Vegetation

North Carolina's Coastal Plain is low, flat land along the Atlantic Ocean. It is often divided into two parts - the Outer Coastal Plain and the Inner Coastal Plain.

The Outer Coastal Plain is made up of the Outer Banks and the Tidewater region. The Outer Banks are a string of barrier islands separated from the mainland by sounds or inlets. The largest islands in the Outer Banks are Bodie, Hatteras, Ocracoke, Portsmouth, and the Core Banks. Three capes are part of the Outer Banks: Cape Hatteras, Cape Lookout, and Cape Fear. Near these capes are dangerous shoals, or underwater sandbars which are hazards to ships. Cape Hatteras is known as the Graveyard of the Atlantic because shifting sand has caused many ships to run aground. The Outer Banks stretch more than 175 miles along the coast.

North Carolina Coastal Plain Counties

The Tidewater is the area along the coast close to sea level. The mouths of the major streams and rivers empty into sounds or the ocean. There are seven sounds in the Tidewater region: Pamlico, Albemarle, Currituck, Croatan, Roanoke, Core, and Bogue Sounds. This region has many low-lying areas called wetlands, where water covers the land. The Great Dismal Swamp, a series of swamps scattered from Virginia, to North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia, is North Carolina's largest wetland area. It covers about 750 square miles, making it one of the largest swamps in the United Swamps. The Tidewater is the only place in the world where the Venus Flytrap plant grows naturally.

The Inner Coastal Plain, a higher, drier area, begins west of the Tidewater. The rich, sandy soil here is some of the state's best farmland. In the southwestern corner of the Inner Coastal Plain are the Sandhills, a subregion of rolling, sandy hills. This area has the highest elevation on the Coastal Plain, ranging from about 900 to 1,000 feet above sea level. Longleaf pines are native to this area.

 

 

Sources:

"Social Studies:: Elementary Resouces:: Student Sampler:: Geography," North Carolina Department of Public Instruction Website. http://www.ncpublicschools.org/curriculum/socialstudies/elementary/studentsampler/20geography#location (accessed March 27, 2012).

Video Credit:

"The Outer Banks of North Carolina," video courtesy of OuterbanksNC, uploaded on July 21, 2011, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cr0Z6RR4KLI (access March 27, 2012).

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Comments

Comment: 

This doesn't say what the current population is of the outer coastal plain, in North Carolina

Comment: 

That is true. Population information is generally reported for each county, and not for each region or for a portion of a region. Here are two excellent resources that provide population information for counties: 

 
I am emailing you and including Reference Services at the NC Government & Heritage Library on the email as they may be able to provide additional guidance or assistance. Their contact information may be found at http://statelibrary.ncdcr.gov/contact.html. 
 
Good luck in your research!
 
Michelle Underhill
Digital Information Management Program, NC Government & Heritage Library
Comment: 

nc pedia does not tell you anything GO TO GOOGLE EVERY ONE

Comment: 

THIS IS COOL

Comment: 

nice website really helped me on project. : )

Comment: 

what is the population of the coastal plains of nc

Comment: 

Thank you for your inquiry.

There are no population figures compiled for the division “Coastal Plain”, however the NC Department of Health and Human Services, has an “Eastern” division by which we can compile data.  The Eastern division consists of the following counties:  Beaufort, Bertie, Brunswick, Camden, Carteret, Chowan, Columbus, Craven, Currituck, Dare, Duplin, Edgecombe, Gates, Greene, Halifax, Hertford, Hyde,  Jones, Lenoir, Martin, Nash, New Hanover, Northampton, Onslow, Pamlico, Pasquotank, Pender, Perquimans, Pitt, Tyrrell, Washington, and Wilson Counties.  The total population for these counties from the 2010 Census is 1,822,216 and the 2013 population projection from the NC State Demographer is 1,905,353.

If you would like to select other counties, it is possible to do that in the NC Carolina State Data Center’s LINC: Look Into North Carolina database (http://linc.state.nc.us/).

Comment: 

helpful facts. What's that word for where salt water and fresh water meet?

Comment: 

Are you thinking of an estuary? Here's some information about estuaries on the Learn NC site: http://www.learnnc.org/lp/pages/544.

Good luck in your research,

Michelle Underhill, NC Government & Heritage Library

Comment: 

It is called Brackish water.

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