Sea Oats at Hatteras
The Outer Banks or “OBX” are barrier islands on the North Carolina coast. Bodie, Roanoke, Hatteras and Ocracoke Islands form a thin ribbon of sand for 200 miles, separating the Atlantic Ocean from Currituck, Croatan, Albemarle and Pamlico Sounds. Seaward, sand dunes are stabilized by Sea Oats, American Beach Grass, Seashore Elder and Bitter Panicum, a mix of the grasses found in states to the North and South. American Beach Grass dominates to the North, Sea Oats to the south. North Carolina is the transition zone, similar to the meeting of the cold Labrador and warm Gulf-stream currents, offshore. Sea Oats or “Uniola paniculata” are so important to coastline preservation, they are protected by law in North Carolina and most southern states.