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Graveyard of the Atlantic, an overview of North Carolina's maritime cultural landscape
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Graveyard of the Atlantic, an overview of North Carolina's maritime cultural landscape
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    North Carolina's shoreline from Currituck Sound to Cape Fear is a dramatic marine setting influenced by dynamic environmental change, with barrier islands that stretch along hundreds of miles of coastline, from 20 to 40 miles offshore, that have been inhabited for thousands of years. Both natural and human actions have impacted this region of America and its marine and shoreside resources. Interactions and overlapping activities have left physical and cultural traces in the landscape. These traces include place names, ocean highways and inlets no lonfer traveled, coastal settlements, industrial structures, and shipwrecks, all of which form a maritime cultural landscape that is unique and nationally important. the coast is a perfect illustration of how the offshore ocean connects with the shore and beyond in terms of humanity's engagement with the marine environment. this is a region that helped build the economy and communities of not only North Carolina, but also of the nation. It also became a place settled by people who came to establish lives for themselves and their families on these rugged, often storm-tossed shored. A number of them remain part of the cultural landscape to this day. This report is an initial review of the complex, dynamic and fascinating maritime cultural landscape of the "Graveyard of the Atlantic." This document is an overview and and introduction to the relationship between these cultural resources, as well as human interaction with the marine environment in coastal North Carolina, The concept of the maritime cultural landscape as a tool for characterizing this coast is the beginning of a process of engagement and partnership with the present coastal community to define, better understand and share its stories, while marketing the area for sustainable heritage-based tourism and inspiring wider awareness and support for protecting and promoting the unique cultural heritage of the region.
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