MOREHEAD CITY — Anyone with an interest in how estuarine research reserves, including the local Rachel Carson reserve, are managed has an opportunity to provide input.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is asking for feedback by Wednesday, Nov. 27 on the N.C. National Estuarine Research Reserve draft revised management plan, available on the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality website

A program of DEQ’s Division of Coastal Management, the N.C. Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve protects natural areas for education, research and recreation. NOAA’s National Estuarine Research Reserve System requires periodic revision of management plans for sites in the system.

The Review 2020-2025 Draft Management Plan not only looks at priorities for the public including program visibility, visitor use, research awareness, and partnerships but also threats and stressors of concern to reserve sites, including invasive species, water quality, sea level rise and storms, and outlines the following:

• A strategic plan.

• Administrative structure.

• Research and monitoring, education, stewardship and training programs of the reserve.

• Resource protection and manipulation plans.

• Restoration management plan.

• Public access and visitor use plan.

• Consideration for future land acquisition.

• Facility development to support reserve operations.

Meetings on the draft revised plan and to gather comments on behalf of DEQ are scheduled for Monday through Wednesday. In Carteret County, a meeting is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Nov. 5 in the NOAA Beaufort Lab auditorium on Pivers Island.

The federal register notice will be posted on the Federal Register website Written comments on the draft management plan can be sent by regular mail to Stephanie Robinson, NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management, 2234 South Hobson Ave., Charleston, S.C. 29405 or by email at

Created in 1989, the program has preserved more than 44,000 acres of unique coastal environments at 10 sites along the coast, four of which make up the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve: Currituck Banks on the Outer Banks, Rachel Carson in Beaufort, and Masonboro Island and Zeke’s Island near Wilmington. The N.C. National Estuarine Research Reserve is managed through a federal-state partnership between NOAA and the DCM.

(6) comments

David Collins

What a bunch of horse hockey. All about spending money providing jobs to those that couldn’t get hired on give away day at a pie factory.


My first response didn't get posted for some reason so let's see if this one makes it through.

Not true David. The folks that work for the Reserve provide valuable research, education, and site management. Take some time to go on one of their free public field trips during the summer and see for yourself before judging the people that work there. Who knows, you may just like it.


I suppose you never enjoyed that area before anyone was made king of the dirt patch? ie: there is nothing there to manage, or have to pay normal people for, or to do, its a small barrier island. I also suspect left to its own elements, it would fare better.

Wil can think what you want. I like the reserve and their mission. I've seen a kids face light up when they saw a live whelk in it's natural habitat while on one the the reserve educator led field trips. I think its a positive thing for the state and local area.

David Collins

Been around a marsh or three. The only management a marsh needs is for we people to leave it alone. Somehow, marshes have survived for millions of years without management. What has changed? No, it is about you guys looking for something to do, something you think you can control, earn a paycheck or what ever. Historically, you study things to death while serving no useful purpose. Leave things alone already!

David Collins

Sure, a youngster discovers something new is a good thing. Thought that is why we have that expensive aquarium at PKS. They can do their discovery without disturbing the marsh. Best thing you guys could do is keep development from encroaching.

Welcome to the discussion.

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