Pamlico Sound (pămˈlĭkō) [key], lagoon, 80 mi (129 km) long and 15 to 30 mi (24–48 km) wide, E N.C., separated from the Atlantic Ocean by a row of low, sandy barrier islands; largest lagoon along the U.S. East Coast. It receives the Neuse and Pamlico rivers and is linked on the N with Albemarle Sound. Cape Hatteras National Seashore is located on the barrier islands. Along the coastal areas are numerous waterfowl nesting sites, and there is some commercial fishing in the waters.
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