Special Activity Authorization

Written authorization is required for organized events, commercial activities and other special activities or uses within the boundaries of any Reserve site and not included in the primary uses of research, education, and compatible traditional uses (see 15A NCAC 07O .0203, eff. February 1, 2022).

Application for a Special Activity Authorization can be made by completing the application form. Applications should be submitted a minimum of 30 days prior to and up to one year in advance of the activity or use. Special Activity Authorization applications will be reviewed by Reserve staff in the order received. Activities or uses must comply with the Reserve Use Requirements found in section 15A NCAC O70 .0202 and the dedicated nature preserve letters of allocation under the Nature Preserves Act (G.S. 143B Article 2 Part 42). Special Activity Authorizations for ongoing activities will expire on December 31 and must be applied for each year.  

Before submitting a special activity authorization application:

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The Coastal Reserve sites are managed under specific rules designed to protect the primary purposes of the sites as outdoor laboratories and classrooms. Some activities that might be allowed at public parks, such as amplified sound, are not allowed at Reserve sites as they are disruptive to wildlife and other visitors. If you are not sure whether an activity or use is in compliance with the rules, contact the respective site manager before filling out an application. 

The intention of the special activity authorization process is to provide the opportunity for compatible uses or activities that are directly related to the near-pristine natural settings of the Coastal Reserve sites. Because the sites are nature preserves and due to the protections associated with these natural areas, activities that are not related to nature or dependent on being conducted in natural surroundings are not generally considered to be compatible. If your activity could just as easily be held in a more conventional event space (such as a park, a grassy field, or a parking lot), it may not be the right fit for receiving an authorization. 

If your activity would benefit from nearby facilities such as bathrooms, a fresh water supply, or trash cans, there are likely other public area options that would be a better fit. Coastal Reserve sites are primarily natural laboratories, outdoor classrooms, and nature preserves and offer minimal or no infrastructure or support facilities. In addition, the Coastal Reserve sites are remote enough to increase the level of complexity for logistics such as transport and safety. Outdoor events are challenging enough without having to consider tides and access limitations based on water depth or wind direction. By exploring similar nearby sites such as recreational areas and public parks before applying for a special activity authorization from the Reserve, you may find a location that better serves your needs and provides simpler logistics. The local site manager can help by answering questions about the specific site logistics and may have suggestions for alternate sites to consider.

As public properties, the sites of the Coastal Reserve are open to the public year-round. In addition, the primary purposes of the sites are to serve as natural laboratories and outdoor classrooms and to provide for compatible traditional uses such as fishing, hunting, navigation, and nature-based recreation. As a result, the Coastal Reserve is not able to provide exclusive access and use of any portion of the sites to individuals or companies seeking special activity authorization. Other users must be able to access and use the site throughout any authorized special activity. It is also important to keep in mind that wildlife may be present at any time because the sites are nature preserves.

Written authorization does not eliminate the need to obtain any other federal, state, or local authorization, or to abide by regulations adopted by any federal, state, or local agency. A written authorization only authorizes uses or activities that conform to the terms contained in the authorization or in applicable federal, state, and local rules and existing laws. Violation of the terms and conditions of a written authorization, including engaging in any activities or uses not expressly authorized, shall result in revocation of the authorization by the Division of Coastal Management. Violations shall be subject to any other civil and/or criminal penalties prescribed by law.

Indicates required field
Name
Address
Secondary contact (in case primary cannot be reached)
Reserve(s) where proposed activity is to occur (Check all that apply)
Activity duration (select one):
Start date and time End date and time

If an authorization is issued, Reserve staff will assign an expiration date based on the end date of the activity.

If based on a regular schedule, provide an activity schedule including dates, times, and duration of activities.  If a set schedule cannot be provided due to the nature of the activity (e.g. on-demand eco-tour, ferry service, etc.), please provide an approximate schedule and/or an estimated frequency of activities.  Please note that if an authorization is issued for a recurrent activity, it will be valid for one year with an expiration date of December 31.

(Describe in detail and make sure to indicate all areas of the property that will be used throughout the activity. This includes areas where participants enter the property.)

(If applicable, describe how many participants will be involved in each portion of the activity and on each area of the property that will be accessed)

Will on-site infrastructure be used (e.g. boardwalk, trail, parking lot)?
For activities at the Currituck Banks Reserve, will the parking lot will be used?
Will any temporary infrastructure (chairs, tents, umbrellas, etc.) be installed?
Do you plan to advertise this activity?
Will you be sending supporting documents (optional)?

An email address for the appropriate site manager will be provided upon completion of this form.

Applicant Affidavit

As the applicant, I hereby certify that the information that I have provided on this application form is complete and accurate to the best of my knowledge. I agree to abide by the terms set forth in the N.C. Coastal Reserve rules as found in 15A NCAC O70.0202 and .0203, the general conditions listed below, and any special conditions set forward in an authorization. 

The authorization, if granted, is not transferable and is revocable at any time at the discretion of the Division of Coastal Management. The applicant is required to be present during the authorized activity. Activities allowed by a special activity authorization must abide by all Federal and State laws. Written authorization does not eliminate the need to obtain any other federal, state, or local authorization, nor to abide by regulations adopted by any federal, state, or local agency. A written authorization only authorizes uses or activities that conform to the terms contained in the authorization or in applicable federal, state, and local rules and existing laws. The applicant is solely responsible for all post-activity clean up such that the Reserve is left in a pristine natural condition. If physical or natural resources on the property are damaged by the authorized activity, the applicant, under supervision of the Division, is responsible for restoring the impacted area to its original, pre-activity condition.

Failure to follow these rules and conditions or violation of the terms and conditions of a written authorization, including engaging in any activities or uses not expressly authorized, will result in an immediate revocation of the authorization. The site manager or designated representative shall have the authority to require the immediate departure of the applicant and participants and the removal of any materials and equipment related to the activity. Revocation of an authorization may impact the ability of the applicant to obtain future special activity authorizations. Violations shall be subject to any other civil and/or criminal penalties prescribed by law.

General conditions:

  1. Applicant is authorized to exercise the privileges granted herein, subject to the supervision of the representatives of the Division of Coastal Management and in accordance with all rules and regulations of the Division of Coastal Management.
  2. Applicant agrees to comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations with regard to construction, sanitation, licenses, or permits to do business, and all other matters, as they may relate to the activities authorized herein. 
  3. It shall be the responsibility of the applicant to maintain the physical and natural resources of the Reserve used in connection with this authorization in a clean, sanitary and orderly condition. Upon the expiration or termination of this authorization, said premises shall be delivered up in as good repair and condition as the same are in at the beginning of occupancy. 
  4. No timber, tree, or shrub shall be cut, damaged or destroyed, nor shall any other natural feature be damaged or destroyed. 
  5. No building, structure, artifact, or other property of the State shall be altered, nor any building or structure shall be erected or constructed, except as specified as a condition of this authorization. 
  6. Applicant shall use said premises only for authorized purposes. 
  7. Activities conducted on Reserve lands and waters shall not discriminate against any person or persons because of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or any other protected status, in the conduct of its operation under this authorization.
  8. Applicant shall not transfer or assign authorization for use of said premises or any part thereof or grant use of any part of this authorization to persons not subject to this authorization. 
  9. Applicant assumes all risk associated with its use of Division property and facilities, including dangers that arise from the natural conditions of the sites. Risk includes, but is not limited to, any and all injury, damages, loss, and/or cost to person or property, arising either directly or indirectly from the use of said premises and/or from the exercise of the privileges granted by this authorization. 
  10. Applicant shall take all necessary and proper steps to provide for the health and safety of participants on said premises, as applicable. 
  11. Applicant shall not advertise the event or activity except as specified as a condition in this authorization. 

As the applicant, I hereby certify that the information that I have provided on this application form is complete and accurate to the best of my knowledge. I agree to abide by the terms set forth in the N.C. Coastal Reserve rules as found in 15A NCAC O70.0202 and .0203, the general conditions listed below, and any special conditions set forward in an authorization. 

The authorization, if granted, is not transferable and is revocable at any time at the discretion of the Division of Coastal Management. The applicant is required to be present during the authorized activity. Activities allowed by a special activity authorization must abide by all Federal and State laws. Written authorization does not eliminate the need to obtain any other federal, state, or local authorization, nor to abide by regulations adopted by any federal, state, or local agency. A written authorization only authorizes uses or activities that conform to the terms contained in the authorization or in applicable federal, state, and local rules and existing laws. The applicant is solely responsible for all post-activity clean up such that the Reserve is left in a pristine natural condition. If physical or natural resources on the property are damaged by the authorized activity, the applicant, under supervision of the Division, is responsible for restoring the impacted area to its original, pre-activity condition.

Failure to follow these rules and conditions or violation of the terms and conditions of a written authorization, including engaging in any activities or uses not expressly authorized, will result in an immediate revocation of the authorization. The site manager or designated representative shall have the authority to require the immediate departure of the applicant and participants and the removal of any materials and equipment related to the activity. Revocation of an authorization may impact the ability of the applicant to obtain future special activity authorizations. Violations shall be subject to any other civil and/or criminal penalties prescribed by law.

General conditions:

  1. Applicant is authorized to exercise the privileges granted herein, subject to the supervision of the representatives of the Division of Coastal Management and in accordance with all rules and regulations of the Division of Coastal Management.
  2. Applicant agrees to comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws and regulations with regard to construction, sanitation, licenses, or permits to do business, and all other matters, as they may relate to the activities authorized herein. 
  3. It shall be the responsibility of the applicant to maintain the physical and natural resources of the Reserve used in connection with this authorization in a clean, sanitary and orderly condition. Upon the expiration or termination of this authorization, said premises shall be delivered up in as good repair and condition as the same are in at the beginning of occupancy. 
  4. No timber, tree, or shrub shall be cut, damaged or destroyed, nor shall any other natural feature be damaged or destroyed. 
  5. No building, structure, artifact, or other property of the State shall be altered, nor any building or structure shall be erected or constructed, except as specified as a condition of this authorization. 
  6. Applicant shall use said premises only for authorized purposes. 
  7. Activities conducted on Reserve lands and waters shall not discriminate against any person or persons because of race, religion, color, sex, age, national origin or any other protected status, in the conduct of its operation under this authorization.
  8. Applicant shall not transfer or assign authorization for use of said premises or any part thereof or grant use of any part of this authorization to persons not subject to this authorization. 
  9. Applicant assumes all risk associated with its use of Division property and facilities, including dangers that arise from the natural conditions of the sites. Risk includes, but is not limited to, any and all injury, damages, loss, and/or cost to person or property, arising either directly or indirectly from the use of said premises and/or from the exercise of the privileges granted by this authorization. 
  10. Applicant shall take all necessary and proper steps to provide for the health and safety of participants on said premises, as applicable. 
  11. Applicant shall not advertise the event or activity except as specified as a condition in this authorization.