Despite flat terrain, extensive forests, and little urbanization, there has been extensive landscape change in the Croatan area of North Carolina's lower coastal plain in the past 300 years. Culturally-accelerated erosion, sedimentation, and geomorphic change are documented, including mean historic upland surface lowering of 15 to 25 cm, and historic alluvial sedimentation of 70 to more than 200 cm. This recent environmental history is significant beyond the Croatan because it illustrates three critical points. First, human agency can result in rapid and significant geomorphic change, even in geologically stable areas where traditional geomorphic risk factors such as slope and climate variability are low. Second, geomorphic change may not leave obvious visible clues. The scarcity of apparent landform change in the coastal plain has traditionally left the impression that culturally-induced geomorphic change has been minimal, when in fact such changes are comparable to those in other regions generally recognized as having undergone serious land degradation. Third, the impacts of human agency on geomorphic processes can be difficult to recognize when those impacts are intertwined with other geomorphic changes. In the Croatan, some human impacts are similar to those associated with Holocene sea level rise, though greatly accelerated. This makes historic change difficult to distinguish from longer-term Quaternary environmental changes.