Three North Carolina Coastal Reserve sites open to visitors after Hurricane Dorian


Three N.C. Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve sites are open to visitors after closure due to Hurricane Dorian. These include:

  • Rachel Carson Reserve in Beaufort,
  • Masonboro Island Reserve near Wilmington, and
  • Bird Island Reserve near Sunset Beach.

Visitors should exercise caution when visiting the sites and be aware of the risk of potentially hazardous conditions associated with storm damage. Grounded vessels have been documented on several Reserve sites; visitors should refrain from disturbing the vessels to protect personal safety and respect vessel owners’ personal property while removal efforts are underway.
Seven Reserve sites remain closed to visitors to protect public safety until site assessments are completed. These are:

  • Currituck Banks Reserve near Corolla,
  • Kitty Hawk Woods Reserve in Kitty Hawk,
  • Emily and Richardson Preyer Buckridge Reserve near Columbia,
  • Buxton Woods Reserve on Hatteras Island,
  • Permuda Island Reserve near Topsail Island,
  • Zeke’s Island Reserve near Kure Beach, and
  • Bald Head Woods Reserve on Bald Head Island.

Updates will be posted on the Coastal Reserve’s website at and via its Facebook and Twitter accounts.

The N.C. Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve protects natural areas for education, research and compatible recreation. Since its creation in 1989, the program has preserved more than 44,000 acres of unique coastal environments at 10 sites along the coast. 

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