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Sea Nettles Spotted In Neuse And Pamlico Rivers

sea nettle
Selbe Lynn
Flickr, Creative Commons,

If you love swimming in the warm, salty water of North Carolina's coastal estuaries, be warned: so do sea nettles.

The waterway advocacy group Sound Rivers said on its Facebook page that the stinging jellyfish have been spotted in the Neuse River near Oriental, as well as the Pamlico River near the intracoastal waterway.Riverkeeper Forrest English says there's not much to worry about.

“Just keep your eyes out, and try not to get stung,” English said. “If you do get stung, you can put vinegar on it which should reduce some of the pain.”

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation website says adult nettles are weak swimmers, so they depend on winds and currents to migrate. And Forrest said they're known to follow the salt

“So if we've got less of an influx of fresh water, like we haven't gotten a ton of rain, it's certainly something where they could find closer upstream a little bit more habitable for them,” he said.

The tentacles of sea nettles have stinging cells which stun or kill plankton, worms, small fish and crustacean.

Rebecca Martinez produces podcasts at WUNC. She’s been at the station since 2013, when she produced Morning Edition and reported for newscasts and radio features. Rebecca also serves on WUNC’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Accountability (IDEA) Committee.
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