Raleigh Ecological Services Field Office
Conserving the Nature of America

Coastal Program in North Carolina

Pocosin Lakes NWR

Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge. Photo by Dale Suiter/USFWS.

North Carolina has a vast and rich coastal ecosystem that many people depend on to make their living whether it is through fishing, farming or the support of recreational activities. The coastal program is not just limited to the sandy beaches of North Carolina’s coast, but also its extensive river system that empties into the Pamlico Sound and the Atlantic Ocean. The coastal program focuses on collaboration and objective science to solve environmental problems in very tangible ways, on a scale meaningful to the general public.

With the large and continuing population shift to the South and to the coast along with climate change there is a real threat of loss of natural habitat. The coastal program in North Carolina has restored, protected or enhanced more than 36,000 acres of habitat important for rare plants and animals. Together with its partners it has restored fish access to more than 1,500 miles of river and streams through the removal of dams or the building of fish ladders. The Coastal Program in North Carolina along with its partners has been instrumental in the development of techniques that restore habitat such as new seedling technology for the Atlantic White cedar, a globally threatened ecosystem. Useful Links and References


Federal Government Conservation Partner of the Year Award

Coastal award

May 2016. Photo by the Conservation Trust for NC.

The Conservation Trust for North Carolina- an organization comprised of 24 local land trusts - gathered May 25-26, 2016 for their annual Land Trust Assembly and awards ceremony. During the even, Service representatives from multiple offices received the 2016 Government Partner of the Year Award. In the photo to the right, US Fish and Wildlife Service biologists, Mike Wicker and Cynthia Bohn accepting the award for the Coastal Program and National Coastal Wetlands Conservation Grant from Janice Allen, Deputy Director for the North Carolina Coastal Land Trust. More information available here.

Habitats of Special Concern

Atlantic White Cedar Stand

Atlantic White Cedar Stand.

Rare Plants, Animals and Natural Communities: There are many land and aquatic habitats in the North Carolina Coastal region that are vital to the survival of rare plant and animal species including 22 endangered species, six threatened species, and 65 state-designated rare plants animal and natural communities.

Wetlands: Wetland habitats in the North Carolina Coastal region include freshwater marshes, bottomland hardwoods forests, salt marshes, pocosin, pine savannahs, nonalluvial wetland forests, and wet pine flats.

Spawning areas: The rivers of North Carolina Coastal region provide spawning habitat for migratory fish such as striped bass, shad, and herring that live in the ocean but must migrate up freshwater rivers to spawn.

River Advocates Work to Add Fish Passage

by Hanna Miller

Article about Cape Fear 
article linkCoastal Review (PDF)http://bit.ly/2j5a64o
River at Lock and Dam No. 1.


Last Updated: July 30, 2020