Projects and Research

The hydrology restoration project at Pocosin Lakes NWR is one of the largest in the country, re-wetting more than 43,000 acres of peatlands. Restoring the natural hydrologic patterns of peatland ecosystems improves the health of native vegetation, reduces the risk of catastrophic wildfire that can harm people and ecosystems, and allows the soil to resume forming new peat and accruing carbon. To restore the natural hydrology, the refuge placed water control structures in the drainage canals, allowing the refuge to set water levels within individual management units according to management goals.

Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge encompasses approximately 110,106 acres of Washington, Hyde, and Tyrrell Counties in eastern North Carolina. In addition to more than 8,300 acres of managed waterfowl habitat, the refuge also has more than 101,600 acres of pocosin peatlands. Pocosin (a Native American term meaning “swamp on a hill”) wetlands occur on peat domes and are at...