Various academic institutions and government organizations have carried out studies on the Refuge and Roanoke River making the river one of the most studied rivers on the east coast.  The Roanoke River floodplain forest is considered one of the largest, intact bottomland forest ecosystems remaining on the east coast.  As a result, it serves as an ideal laboratory to conduct scientific studies to help land managers and ecologists better understand the dynamics of floodplain plant and wildlife communities.  The number of the studies in recent years have been geared towards looking at the effects the US Army Corp’s of Engineers John H. Kerr flood control project has on the more than 200,000 acres of floodplain forest ecosystem.  Examples of some of the studies include a Bank Erosion Study by the US Geological Survey and Floodplain Forest Studies carried out by graduate students from UNC- Chapel Hill Dept. of Biology and the US Army Corps of Engineers Engineer Research and Development Center.  The scientific evidence gathered to date indicates that current flood control operations are having deleterious effects on the fish, wildlife, and habitats of the lower Roanoke River ecosystem.  The Fish and Wildlife Service is working closely with state and NGO partners to bring a more natural flow regime back to the river.