|A Barrier Island - Bald Head
The What's It Like Where You Live? team visited Bald Head Island to do some explorations and shoot some videos. Along the way, they wrote this report:
Barrier islands are separated from the mainland by bodies of water that vary in size, from small estuaries to huge bays and sounds.
Most of the barrier islands in the United States are found off the coast of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Florida.
A barrier island serves as a buffer or "barrier" between the coast and the sea. That means that they must experience not only tides, winds, and waves, but big storms and hurricanes, too.
These forces cause barrier islands to have a constant changing environment. The islands erode in one area, but build up in another.
On barrier islands you will find several distinct zones. Each zone has special plant and animals that have adapted to the unique conditions.
Beaches on barrier islands are sandy.
Beach grass, like sea oats, grows on Bald Head Island. It looks like clumps of green grass and can be as high as three feet tall. It has long, thin, green leaves. When Beach Grass is planted on a dune, grains of sand collect around the plant as sand blows over the beach. The sand that gathers at the base of the plants stimulates more plant growth. The plant growth also stabilizes the sand dune and helps keep it from blowing away.
Trees and bushes you might find on Bald Head Island include live oak, loblolly pine, slash pine, yaupon holly, and red cedar.