North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources
NC Division of Coastal Management
NC Map

Coastal Wetlands: Interactive Mapping
Works best with Internet Explorer (IE)

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About Coastal Wetlands Data:

This site will allow you to view the Division of Coastal Management's (DCM) geographic wetlands data. Note that these data were meant to be used for planning purposes only. These wetland data are advisory in nature. They are not a substitute for an on-site determination of jurisdictional wetlands. Before viewing these data for the first time, please read our disclaimer.

Coastal Wetlands are lands that are wet at least part of the year because their soils are either saturated or covered with a shallow layer of water. Wetlands include a variety of natural systems, such as marshes, swamps, bottomland hardwoods, pocosins and wet flats. While each wetland type looks and functions differently, all wetlands share certain properties, including characteristic wetland vegetation, hydric soils and hydrologic features.

Wetlands usually are covered by plants, ranging from marsh grasses to trees. All wetland plants must tolerate living in saturated soil without oxygen during parts of the growing season. Many wetland plants are called "hydrophytes," because they can live with their roots in water.

Wetland Site Restoration & Enhancement Potential was developed by the Division of Coastal Management. This procedure uses geographic information systems (GIS) to locate potential wetland restoration and enhancement sites. It also identifies the type of wetland that could be restored or enhanced as well as the type of disturbance that has occurred at each site.

The North Carolina Coastal Region Evaluation of Wetland Significance (NC CREWS) is a watershed-based wetlands functional assessment model that uses geographic information systems (GIS) software and data to assess the level of water quality, wildlife habitat, and hydrologic functions of individual wetlands. The primary objective of the NC-CREWS wetland functional assessment is to provide users with information about the relative ecological importance of wetlands for use in planning and the overall management of wetlands. It is useful in determining where development should not be planned, or where certain types of development are best suited to and compatible with the habitat. Where wetland impacts are unavoidable, NC-CREWS can significantly improve avoidance and minimization of significant and irreversible adverse impacts to the most valuable wetland ecosystems.

Interactive Map Overview:

The interactive wetlands mapping tool is a website works best with Microsoft's Internet Explorer (IE). This site will allow you to interact with DCM's coastal wetlands data. This is a new version and does not require any downloads; however, the first time you use this tool certain files and cookies will be stored on your computer. If a site update occurs (last update: 08/22/2012) you will need to delete temporary internet files and cookies, then refresh your internet browser, to see these updates.

Before printing, please tune your popup blocker and allow popups while visiting this site.

Instructional Summary:
  • To zoom in: select a county from the dropdown list or select the "Zoom In" tool, then click on the map with mouse cursor (or draw "zoom-box" with mouse cursor; click and hold left-mouse button, drag cursor in any direction, then release button).

  • Once you've zoomed in on the area of interest, you can retrieve additional information about the wetland layer of interest by turning that layer on and making it "active." HELPFUL TIP: you can turn all three wetland layers on at the same time, however, the map will become visually cluttered, making it difficult to distinguish one layer from another. Therefore, viewing one wetland layer at a time is suggested.

  • The "Identify" tool will allow you to click on the "Active" wetland layer and see related information. HELPFUL TIP: Be sure the layer is turned on and in "Active" mode (click both white square and circle next to layer name); click the "Identify" tool (from toolbar on top of map); then click mouse cursor on wetland map layer.

Questions / Comments:

Questions/Comments about wetland data?

Questions about wetland internet mapping tool? How do I use it? Report "bugs" or any technical concerns, or simply comment. Ken Richardson

More DCM Mapping Sites & Data:


N.C. Division of Coastal Management . 400 Commerce Ave . Morehead City, NC 28557
1-888-4RCOAST . Email Us