Atlantic White Cedar Restoration on the Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula

Atlantic White Cedar forest. Photo: Natural Resources Conservation Service

Atlantic White Cedar forest. Photo: Natural Resources Conservation Service

Program continues–contact us today!

The North Carolina Coastal Federation and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service are working with private landowners to restore 50 acres of Atlantic White Cedar in northeastern North Carolina. Our state was once known for its thriving native Atlantic White Cedar ecosystem throughout the Albemarle-Pamlico peninsula — holding more than half of the original cedar stands on the Eastern seaboard. Today, these cedar forests have declined to less than five percent of their original acreage. When the Great Dismal Swamp and Alligator River refuges were drained for agricultural use, the numbers of naturally occurring  Atlantic White Cedars decreased significantly. Known as “juniper” in North Carolina, these trees were used heavily in boat building and decoy crafts.

Man plants cedar saplings. Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Man plants cedar saplings. Photo: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

The peninsula has been designated as a focus area by the North Carolina Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program, where restoring forested wetlands is a primary goal for the area. Ecologically, the Atlantic White Cedar provides numerous forest benefits:

  • Supports a higher number of birds than other types of forest
  • Provides food and cover to wintering birds and other wildlife
  • Improves water quality
  • Controls erosion
  • Reduces high concentrations of nitrogen and mercury in soils

To help restore these historically valuable ecosystems, the federation is offering an 80/20 cost-share program, where the landowner’s 20 percent can be an in-kind donation. If you have land in northeastern North Carolina you believe may be suitable for Atlantic White Cedar restoration and want to find out more about our program, please contact Erin Fleckenstein at 252-473-1607 or erinf@nccoast.org.