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Coastwatch Magazine Spotlights NC’s New Resilience Programs, MacArthur Fellow J. Drew Lanham, and More

image: SUMMER 2023 cover of Coastwatch.

For Immediate Release

Contact: Dave Shaw,, or Katie Mosher,

The Summer 2023 issue of North Carolina Sea Grant’s award-winning Coastwatch magazine features a video interview with MacArthur Fellow J. Drew Lanham, a look at new climate resilience programs, and a day out on “The Graveyard of the Atlantic” with Bland Simpson. The latest edition also includes new research on plastic pollution in the Neuse, as well as a 50-year study that determined sea level rise endangers 90% of the world’s salt marshes.

As climate change heightens, new programs are developing strategies to face new challenges. Sea Grant’s coastal resilience specialist, Sarah Spiegler, uses two coastal communities as examples of how — and why — our state continues to adapt in “From Portsmouth to Aurora: Bouncing Forward with New Resilience Programs for Coastal North Carolina.”

In “Ecology, Psychology, and the Art of Being You,” the award-winning Lauren D. Pharr, avian ecologist and contributing editor for Coastwatch, interviews MacArthur Fellow J. Drew Lanham. This 20-minute video looks at the intersection of culture, society, research, and identity. “There’s an art to being who you are,” says Lanham. “And there’s a science to it.”

When Bland Simpson, North Carolina’s oft-honored voice of the coast, spent a day off Diamond Shoals, “The Graveyard of the Atlantic” loosened tales of lost ships — while he rode aboard a vessel the U.S. Navy once tried to commandeer indefinitely. Readers can travel along in “Out at Hatteras with Cap’n Ernie Foster and Albatross I.”

New Sea Grant-led research finds that the Neuse River Basin annually delivers an estimated 230 billion particles of plastic to the Pamlico Sound. “A River of Plastics” explains the findings and how to help stem the flow of plastic pollution from inland creeks to the coast.

In other critical research news, most of world’s salt marshes likely will be underwater by 2100, according to a 50-year study that Sea Grant programs helped fund.

In addition, new research from UNC Wilmington on tidal creeks in southeastern North Carolina found PFAS at all sampling sites on all dates.

In “Hot Air and Home Runs,” slugger Aaron Judge’s record-breaking year provides the backdrop as baseball historian and author Thomas Wolf discusses how climate change might contribute to more round-trippers. Imagine “The Babe” or “Hammerin’ Hank” in an era of accelerated global warming.

“Accelerated sea level rise will reshape flood hazards,” says Anne Margaret H. Smiley. She and her colleagues have been exploring nature-based solutions for flooding in New Bern, North Carolina.

The Summer 2023 issue also includes a 30-foot jellyfish, the latest science for anglers on where red drum hide and what time is best to hook big fish, new summertime recipes, and more.



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