Estuaries are formed where fresh water and salt water mix together. They are vital ecosystems for many reasons, including the fact that over 90% of seafood species caught by North Carolina's fishermen such as blue crab, flounder and shrimp spend at least part of their lives in the state's estuaries.
Thousands of square miles of estuaries lie inside North Carolina's barrier island shoreline. Our state holds more estuarine waters than any other state on the east coast.
The North Carolina Estuarium is one of several facilities managed by the Partnership for the Sounds that celebrates these delicate ecosystems and what they mean to life in the "Soundlands." Exhibits, living aquariums, captivating audio/visual presentations and more combine art, science, nature and history into a complete educational experience at the Estuarium.