Web Content Display
The research sector of NCNERR is managed according to the Reserve management plan, the NERRS strategic plan, and the NERRS Research and Monitoring Plan (2006-2011). The NERRS Research and Monitoring Plan (2006-2011) provides four goals that direct the system-wide research and monitoring efforts.
Biological, chemical, physical, and ecological conditions of Reserves are characterized and monitored to describe reference conditions and to quantify change.
Scientists conduct research at Reserves that is relevant to coastal management need and increase basic understanding of estuarine processes.
Scientists, educators, and coastal managers have access to NERRS datasets, science products, and results.
The scientific, coastal management, and education communities as well as the general public, use data, products, tools, and techniques generated at the NERRS.
Supporting these goals are three national system wide programs:
These national documents and programs provide excellent direction to the research sector of NCNERR. However, to be truly useful, the research sector at NCNERR must deal with issues important to local managers, scientists, and citizens. To determine what the locally important issues are, a needs assessment was conducted. The results from this endeavor showed that research is needed in the following areas: 1) Water quality degradation and eutrophication; 2) shellfish; and 3) habitat mapping and change. Additional guidance was derived from the research and monitoring needs identified by the Coastal Habitat Protection Plan. All of these national, regional, and local needs were considered when developing the strategic goals for the research sector of NCNERR.
North Carolina Strategic Goals
There are many regional differences between the four NERR Reserve components, and therefore the stressors faced by each Reserve component are also different. Consequently, focus areas have been developed to help target the most beneficial activities to each Reserve component.
Focus areas for Wilmington District (Masonboro and Zeke’s Islands)
Focus areas for Central District (Rachel Carson)
Focus areas for Northern District (Currituck Banks)