||The US Navy has proposed construction of an Outlying Landing Field (OLF) for carrier-landing
practice, at one of five potential sites in North Carolina and Virginia. The proposed
Sandbanks site in Gates County, NC is opposed by the Citizens Against OLF, who asked
the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic to evaluate possible damages to the area
by drafting an Environmental Impact Statement. This project will contribute to that
EIS by evaluating the site’s hydrology and wetlands using GIS analysis. Results of
examinations of the wetlands’ ecosystem services indicate large areas of important
wetlands on and near the site. The individual results (buffering capacity, runoff
estimates, and habitat quality) are integrated into a single product that can be compared
to the North Carolina Coastal Region Evaluation of Wetland Significance (NC CREWS).
This comparison shows a larger area of high significance wetlands in the NC CREWS
rating due to depth of the analysis, among other factors. There is ample evidence
of high wetland significance at the Gates County site.