About the Reserve

The North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve System is a network of 10 protected sites established for long-term research, education and stewardship. This program protects more than 44,000 acres of estuarine land and water, which provides essential habitat for wildlife; offers educational opportunities for students, teachers and the public; and serves as living laboratories for scientists.

The mission of the Reserve is, "To practice and promote informed management and appreciation of North Carolina’s coastal and estuarine ecosystems and provide protected sites for research, education, and stewardship." The NC Coastal Reserve sites are open to the public and visitor information can be found on the reserve site pages.