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The Impact of Recreation on Barrier Islands: A Case Study on Masonboro Island

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Since 1992, coastal researchers at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington have been documenting the impacts of human recreational use on Masonboro Island, a component of the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve, and the subsequent natural processes that mitigate these impacts. Both short-term and long-term natural mitigational processes were identified. The effects of these processes were found to be much more rapid than similar impacts on typical terrestrial settings. However, careful examination of the data suggests that both physical location of the impact site and natural variability of weather patterns and events play a role. Management implications of these findings are proposed.


Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: University of North Carolina

Publication date: July 1, 2000

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