That tint has absolutely nothing to do with coastal plain vegetation - that brown color is pig poo, and that is well documented in a documentary and books. Not too many years ago, there was an outbreak of pfiesteria, an insidious dinoflagellate algae that is highly toxic, not only to fish, but humans as well. The worst outbreak took place in the late 1980s and early 1990s, when several manure lagoon dams broke and totally destroyed all life forms in the entire river. The river has never fully recovered and probably never will as long as those massive, industrial hog farms continue to prevail in the river's middle and upper reaches. Kriss, you may want to read https://www.amazon.com/Waters-Turned.../dp/0684838451
, a book I have read shortly after interviewing Dr. Jo Ann Burkholder for a major magazine article I wrote during the 1990s. You will be amazed.
The same problem came to fruition in the lower reaches of Chesapeake Bay in the lower and middle reaches of the Pocomoke River in the mid 1990s and early 2000s. Instead of industrial hog farms, in this instance, it was the product of industrial chicken farms, which the Delmarva Peninsula is so famous for. The volume of chicken manure that is spread upon the corn and soy bean fields annually is beyond anyone's wildest imagination. The federal government stepped in, eventually, and provided farmers with grants to construct manure barns in an effort to prevent the manure from washing from the mountains created on farms, to nearby tributaries of Chesapeake Bay. This helped to some degree, but the problem still exists. Fortunately, there have been no recent outbreaks in the Chesapeake's tributaries, but it would not take much more of a nutrient load to produce another disaster.
The other dinoflagellate in both the Neuse and Chesapeake Bay is blue/green algae, which is also highly toxic and can cause some serious skin diseases, and kills dogs and cats that drink the water. At one time there was a health warning on blue/green algae in the Sassafras River's upper and middle reaches, warning people not to have recreational contact with the water, eat the fish and allow their pets near the water. Gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling, doesn't it.
The offshore waters offer some outstanding sailing and as stated above the best inlet is Beaufort Inlet, which is a piece of cake during all weather conditions. There is a great anchorage in the cove just behind The Point (Shackleford Point) where you will find great holding and incredible fishing, along with clean water. I would not, however, recommend swimming there because of the number of big, bull sharks that I have seen while fishing inside the hook behind The Point. Great beach area on the ocean side of The Point, where surf fishermen tend to congregate year round to fish for big bluefish and weakfish.
There are some nice marinas in Beaufort with deep water and good protection from storms. Great area for sailing and fishing alike.