This project was born out of interdisciplinary interests and a personal belief in shared responsibility for the environment. My interests in fisheries habitat, human-ecosystem interactions, and writing merged with a community-driven conservation project. I hope the application of this work will aid environmental managers and conservation efforts in North Carolina and beyond.
This project would not have been possible without the funding, resources, and expertise of The Nature Conservancy, or the generous financial support of Mr. and Mrs. Stanback through the Stanback Internship Program. Many thanks to Brian Boutin and The Nature Conservancy staff for advice and encouragement, and to my advisor Dr. Cindy Van Dover for assistance with the organizational and writing components of this project. I would also like to thank John Fay and Pete Harrell of Duke University, and Amit Malhotra of NOAA, for their GIS help and support. Your patience and time were invaluable in GIS troubleshooting and data analysis. Lastly, a special thank you to my friends and family who generously and patiently listened to all of my failures and successes throughout the course of this project.