#DiscoverSummerNC: Beneath the Surface in NC

Monday, August 10, 2020

Ocean, estuaries, rivers, and lakes—our beautiful state is almost 10% water in surface area, according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS). Whether we live in the mountains, piedmont, or coastal region, water is a part of our landscape. Ever wondered what lies beneath the waters in North Carolina? Well, here is your chance to learn! Whether you are interested in the past or the future, ecology, recreational sports or just looking for a pretty spot to relax, there is a publication for you.

Maritime History

Everyone likes pirates and tales of seafaring days. Explore Blackbeard’s ship and what was found buried down below with the Queen Anne’s Revenge: laboratory excavation report (2002-2012). Not only will you read about different methods for conserving these valuable items, like freeze-drying wood, but you will also see photos of the Archaeology Lab employees hard at work. Some of the artifacts that were discovered include cannons, tiny gold pieces, glass beads, and silver coins. Check out the Queen Anne’s Revenge Project website to get the latest information on what has happened with this project.

Interested in Blackbeard’s life? Read the 1812 biography entitled Lives of the notorious pirate, Capt. Teach, alias Black Beard, and Sawney Beane, the Scottish robber and murderer: giving an account of many extraordinary robberies, dreadful atrocities, and cruel murders.

North Carolina also has a rich maritime history. Learn more about traditional boating, fishing, and transport in Maritimes: the magazine of the North Carolina maritime museums. For those interested in other maritime reading, take a look at the journal Tributaries published by the North Carolina Maritime History Council. Browse through the issues available or focus on topics like “The Ocracoke Raid of July 1813,” as well as “A Brief History of Prohibition in Northeastern North Carolina.”

Sea Life

Are you (or your little ones) more interested in sea turtles, sharks, and other fish? Keep reading.

“Sharks don’t have bones” and “Sharkskin feels like sandpaper” are a few of the facts you will find in the summer 2020 Coastwatch article “Shark Facts that Might Surprise You.” This article also has some great close-up pictures of sharks, if you would rather look at sharks through photos and not in real life! To browse and search all issues of Coastwatch, visit:  http://digital.ncdcr.gov/cdm/search/searchterm/4844651/field/identi

Are you interested in sea turtles or catfish? Dive into the Wildlife Diversity quarterly update issues. You can find articles about sea turtles nesting habits and survival tactics. Wondering sea turtles’ responses to fishermen? Diana Hackenburg can give you insight in her article “How sea turtles respond to interactions with fishermen” in the summer 2016 Coastwatch. Or read about the “‘Motels’ for tiny catfish” in the October-December 2019 issue. Along with underwater animals, you can find more information about birds, such as pelicans, or become an informed citizen and read about the bogs and estuaries and how to help protect these natural environments for wildlife.

Image of a fish in the ocean with coral


Looking for some outdoor activities? What about fishing and boating? Take a look at these resources.

The Scotch Bonnet: What We’re Hearing From the Sea provides details on past workshops, like Project Learning Tree, K-8 workshops, and professional development opportunities, as well as summer camps at the aquariums and family fun outings at local parks. This is a great resource to look for future events focused on aquatic life and other wildlife in North Carolina.

Fishing on your mind? Check out the North Carolina Coastal Recreational Fishing Digest. This publication is provided by the Division of Marine Fisheries in the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality. Here you can find information on acquiring a fishing license, the various fish found in saltwater, as well as where you can go fishing. Or you can browse the North Carolina Inland Fishing, Hunting & Trapping Regulations Digest, published by the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission to learn the latest revisions in fishing laws.

Find Out More

There is so much that lives under the surface of the sea. If you like the publications mentioned here, spend time searching the many resources available to you in the North Carolina Digital Collections.

Becky Forbes, Cataloging Librarian