Hyde board agrees to help imperiled Lake Mattamuskeet

By on November 20, 2016

Mattamuskeet is the largest natural lake in N.C. (USFWS)

By Peter Vankevich
Ocracoke Observer

The Hyde County Commissioners have agreed to include $15,000 in the 2016-2017 budget toward work in restoring the ecological health of the Lake Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge.

The commissioners approved the action after a second presentation in as many months by Pete Campbell, refuge manager.

Hyde County Manager Bill Rich said that until the new budget is in effect July 1, the county will look for grants to supplement the budget appropriation.

Campbell did not provide an estimate of the total needed to restore the lake, which is the largest natural lake in the state, to health.

Stakeholders in a healthy lake include area farmers, residents, the state and federal governments.

“I want everyone to have input into or it’s not going to work,” he said about the effort.

He said there will be a public meeting on the state of the lake Nov. 29 at Mattamuskeet High School.

In addition, Campbell said at the recent commissioners meeting that he is working with the North Carolina Department of Transportation on repairs needed to Route 94 that goes across the lake.

He said he wants to submit a grant from the federal highways department for a large grant to armor the road. A first estimate he received to repair the road is $4 million, for which the repairs could be done in stages and paid for the same way.

Last month, Campbell asked the commissioners to take the lead in restoring the ecological health to the largest natural lake in the state.

The federally-owned refuge is a mainland Hyde County tourist attraction and a winter haven for hundreds of thousands of waterfowl.

The lake, which is 18 miles long and seven miles at its widest, has lost almost all sub-aquatic vegetation, Campbell said at the Oct. 3 Hyde County Board of Commissioners meeting.

In a presentation to the commissioners, refuge biologist Michelle Moorman said that due to its poor water quality, the lake is about to be listed as an “impaired water” by the EPA, a designation that is of serious concern.

A large die-off of SAV began in 1991 starting with the west side of the lake and again in 2013 when the much larger east side began to be affected.

Reasons for the dying vegetation are complex, but a major cause is a loss of water clarity is due to an increase in nutrients, nitrogen and phosphorus, fluctuating high water levels from heavy rains the last few year and run-off sediment.

Without SAV, especially wild celery–waterfowl, fish and crabs have been in decline.

Hyde County government has been monitoring the state of the lake over the years, and Campbell initiated the call-to-action to stakeholders to work together, including farmers in the watershed who have been affected in recent years by serious flooding.

Working on the local level may be the best solution, he said, and the commissioners could get technical support from the county’s Soil and Water Conservation District, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, N.C. Wildlife and the N.C. Coastal Federation.

When it was discovered in 1585, the lake covered 120,000 acres–about three times its current size–and averaged six to nine feet deep.

Since the lake waters are not fed by any spring or river, level-control measures were installed years ago to keep saltwater from entering when water levels in the Pamlico Sound are higher than the lake and to flow excess water back into the sound.

And now, Campbell said, the water in the lake should be three feet lower than it is so that sunlight can get to the SAV.

About half of the wintering waterfowl in North Carolina spend time at the lake with aerial photo estimates between 100,000 to 350,000 birds in the winter.

These include tundra swans, snow geese, pintail ducks and also several species of migratory shorebirds.

Waterfowl are a major attraction for nature lovers, birders, and photographers. The lake is also popular for fishing, photography, hiking, and boating. There is controlled permitted hunting for waterfowl and white-tailed deer.

Moorman cited a 2006 study on the economic benefits of tourism to the lake when about $11.5 million dollars came to the county.


Barnhill Contracting Company will receive sealed proposals for Manns Harbor – EMS/Fire Facility (EMS-8), Kitty Hawk – EMS/Fire Facility (EMS-9), Manteo – Youth Center on January 09, 2024. Times to be given on via addendum #01. See the following SCOPE OF WORK: BP 100 – General Trades, BP 105 – Final Cleaning, BP 205 – Demolition, BP 390 – Turnkey Concrete, BP 400 – Turnkey Masonry, BP 500 – Turnkey Structural Steel & Misc. Steel, BP 505 – Light Gauge Metal Trusses, BP 740 – Roofing, BP750 – Siding, BP 790 – Caulking/Sealants, BP 800 – Turnkey Doors/Frames/Hardware/Toilet Specialties/Accessories/Division 10, BP 840 – Curtainwall/Storefront/Glass/Glazing, BP 925 – Drywall/Framing, BP 960 – Resilient Flooring/Carpet/Base/Epoxy, BP 980 – Acoustical Ceilings, BP 990 – Painting and Wall Coverings, BP 1230 – Finish Carpentry and Casework, BP 1250 – Window Treatments, BP 2100 – Fire Protection, BP 2200 – Plumbing, BP 2300 – HVAC, BP 2600 – Electrical, BP 3100 – Earthwork/Turnkey Site, BP 3213- Site Concrete, BP 3290 – Landscaping. Scopes of work may be added and/or deleted at the discretion of the Construction Manager.

Bid Location and Time: Bid opening will be held in the Barnhill Contracting Rocky Mount Training & GPS Technology Room: 800 Tiffany Bvld, Rocky Mount, NC 27804. Time is as follows: January 09, 2024 at 10:00am and 2:00pm. Times per packages to be given on via addendum #01.

Barnhill Contracting Company will receive, open, and read publicly all bids received in person in the Training & GPS Technology Room at the main office and listed with the virtual viewing at the link to be posted on Barnhill’s Plan Room.

Bids will not be accepted from bidders that are not pre-qualified. No facsimile or email submissions are permitted. Sealed bids are to be hand delivered to the bid opening location noted above or mailed Sealed Bids can be delivered before 9:00am the day of the bid to the Barnhill Contracting Company Office at 800 Tiffany Blvd., Suite 200 Rocky Mount, NC 27804. Attention “Clint Hardison.”

The pre-bid meeting will be held in Person & Zoom Meeting on December 06, 2023 at 10:00 am at the Barnhill Contracting’s Rocky Mount Main Conference Room: 800 Tiffany Bvld, Rocky Mount, NC 27804.

The pre-bid meeting link can be located on Barnhill’s online Building Division Plan Room ( https://app.buildingconnected.com/public/54da832ce3edb5050017438b) and below. A preferred brand alternates meeting will be held via the same link at the end of the Prebid meeting.

Bid Documents can be viewed or downloaded through Barnhill’s online Building Division Plan Room (https://app.buildingconnected.com/public/54da832ce3edb5050017438b) after 12/04/2023.

All Bidders are strongly encouraged to include opportunities for HUB participation wherever possible in their respective Bid submission.  HUB participation is a part of this contract and must comply with all requirements set forth in the Bid Documents.

The Construction Manager and Owner reserve the right to add pre-qualified bidders. The Construction Manager and Owner reserve the right to reject any and all bids. Should you require additional direction, please call Barnhill Contracting Company, (Clint Hardison – 252-802-0740).

Clint Hardison is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Dare EMS – Phase 2 Pre-Bid Conference

Time: Dec 6, 2023 10:00 AM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

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