Caption: A pocosin is a wetland that occurs on peat, a high organic content soil that develops under wet conditions. Unless altered by ditching and draining, the peat soil in a pocosin soaks up rain water and releases it very slowly. Pocosin and other peatlands are unique; they only cover about 3% of the earth’s surface. Pocosin vegetation includes a very dense understory made up a variety of shrubs and a pine overstory. When the peat soil layer is really deep (called “low pocosin”) nutrients in the mineral soil below are hard to get to and the trees are stunted, like the pond pine trees seen here.
Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is one of six national wildlife refuges in the Coastal North Carolina National Wildlife Refuges Complex. Pocosin Lakes Visitor Center, located in Columbia, NC, is open 9am to 4pm whenever volunteer staffing is available.