The Cape Fear River winds for 200 miles through the heart of the North
Carolina piedmont, crossing the coastal plain, and empties into the great
Atlantic Ocean near Southport. The river begins near Greensboro and Winston-Salem
as two rivers, the Deep River and the Haw River. These two rivers converge
near Moncure to form the Cape Fear River. The Black River joins the Cape
Fear 15 miles above Wilmington, and the Northeast Cape Fear River enters
the system at Wilmington. The 35 miles of river between Wilmington and
the ocean is called the Cape Fear Estuary because of the tidal influence
and saline waters. This area of the river is extremely important for
saltwater animals because of its function as a nursery for juvenile fish,
crabs, and shrimp. The Cape Fear River system is North Carolina’s
largest river system whose basin covers 9,000 square miles and encompasses
streams in 29 of the state’s 100 counties, and is the most industrialized
of all of North Carolina's rivers.
The river is an important natural resource that supports many uses including:
This text was taken from the Lower Cape Fear River website on 2/19/2004.