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N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - Turbity and Sedimentation

Marine Fisheries

Turbity and Sedimentation

Habitats Affected: Water column, shell bottom, SAV, soft bottom, ocean hard bottom

Common Sources: Construction sites, runoff from agriculture, forestry, roads, mining, resuspension from dredging, and bottom-disturbing fishing activities

Impacts

  • Elevated turbidity impacts the ability of SAV plants to survive and grow.
  • Suspended sediment in the water column can clog fish gills, deter successful recruitment of invertebrates onto shell bottom or ocean hard bottom, reduce feeding success of visually oriented predators.
  • Excess sedimentation can cover shell bottom and ocean hard bottom, and fill in shallow creeks and rivers.
  • Suspended sediments transport bacteria and toxins through coastal waters, making them available to aquatic organisms in the water column.

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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • (252) 726-7021 or 1-800-682-2632

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