The Friends of Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge is a non-profit Friends organization, established in 2008, for the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge.  The Refuge and the Friends are located in eastern North Carolina on the Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula. The Refuge Headquarters is in Columbia, North Carolina.  The Friends mission is to help protect the natural treasures of the Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge by promoting informed public awareness of the refuge and its importance to all of us and future generations, raising funds, providing willing hands for various needed projects, and being a friend to the refuge in a variety of ways.


The North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (Commission) is a state-partnering agency with the Service.  It is charged with enforcement responsibilities for migratory birds and endangered species and state trust species, as well as managing the state’s natural resources.  It also manages approximately 1.8 million acres of game lands in North Carolina.  The Commission coordinates the state’s wildlife conservation program and provides public recreation opportunities, including an extensive hunting and fishing program, on several game lands and from several boat ramps located near Pocosin Lakes NWR.  The Service and the Commission manage hunting on federal public lands within the proposed Conservation Partnership Area through a joint venture.


The North Carolina Coastal Reserve (NCCR) & National Estuarine Research Reserve System (NCNERR) is a network of ten protected sites established for long-term research, education and stewardship.  Kitty Hawk Woods, Emily and Richardson Preyer Buckridge, Buxton Woods and Rachel Carson are all found on the Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula and Outer Banks.  Emily and Richardson Preyer Buckridge are close neighbors to Pocosin Lakes NWR.   The program is a partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources (NCDENR).


NCDENR through the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation manage Pettigrew State Park on the shores of Lake Phelps.  With more than 5,000 acres of land around Lake Phelps and the Scuppernong River including over 16,600 acres of water, Pettigrew State Park is an ideal blend of nature, history and recreation.  The park offers opportunities to camp, fish, boat, hike and learn about the natural resources of the region from their location adjacent to Pocosin Lakes NWR.


Explore Lake Phelps and examine dugout canoes as ancient as the pyramids. Or cast your line into crystal-clear waters where largemouth bass reign. Take a trip back in time at the grave of a great Confederate general. Or hug a tree as wide as an elephant. Paddle down one of North Carolina's last undeveloped rivers.


Pettigrew exhibits its history among picturesque natural surroundings. Majestic cypress trees tower above as the branches of tulip poplar and swamp chestnut oak provide perches for songbirds. 


NCDENR also works cooperatively with Pocosin Lakes NWR on two important resource protection projects, hydrology restoration and control of invasive plant species.  NCDENR supplements law enforcement on Pocosin Lakes NWR and manages the Refuge’s hunt programs as well.  North Carolina Forest Service within the NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service is a partner in fighting wildfires and fire fighter training. 


The Red Wolf Coalition advocates for the long-term survival of red wolf populations by teaching about the red wolf and by fostering public involvement in red wolf conservation.  The Red Wolf Coalition is a non-profit corporation located at P.O. Box 96, Columbia, Tyrrell County, North Carolina 27925. The RWC offers programs and produces materials to increase public understanding of the red wolf and endangered species recovery. The RWC works with other conservation organizations to focus world-wide attention on the effort to ensure the long-term survival of wild red wolf populations. The RWC publishes a newsletter (Red Wolf Tracker) in both electronic and print versions. The organization helps to make available the red wolf teachers’ curriculum, Far Traveler.


  • To strengthen the impact and broaden the scope of educational products and programs to benefit both humans and red wolves.
  • To improve, maintain and update the Red Wolf Coalition’s interpretive and educational programs.
  • To build a financially sustainable and appropriately staffed Red Wolf Center in Tyrrell Country, NC to benefit the local, regional and worldwide community. Our resolve is to build a center in the heart of red wolf country. The Red Wolf Center will be constructed using green building practices and materials and that will include alternative energy sources. Our aim is to select a natural setting so the center will appeal to visitors of all ages and be an eco-tourism destination.
  • To expand the Red Wolf Coalition’s audiences, members and supporters.
  • To enhance the long-term financial security of the Red Wolf Coalition.




Tyrrell County and Tyrrell County Chamber of Commerce: Tyrrell County is closely tied with the natural environment.  Its welcome to the world recognizes the association with the conservation areas that are found within its boundaries.  “Welcome to Columbia and Tyrrell County, NC...nature's buffer zone, sprawled between the urban mainland and the popular stretch of North Carolina's Outer Banks.

Here is where the red wolf howls. Bald eagles and northern harriers soar across the sunset. American alligators live at their northern limits near ancient pocosin forests. Conservation gems like Palmetto-Peartree Preserve, Emily and Richardson Preyer Buckridge Coastal Preserve, Pocosin Lake National Wildlife Refuge and the new bayside Eastern 4-H Environmental Education Conference Center help highlight Tyrrell County's remarkable natural wealth.

And Tyrrell County has even more to offer...history, art, unique festivals, lodging, dining and shopping opportunities...all right here.”


The Refuge works with the county to bring environmental education opportunities to the students of the county.  Regularly scheduled field trips, clubs and summer programs are held to encourage students to experience and appreciate the unique natural resources in their backyards.



Partnership for the SoundsFormed in 1993, the Partnership for the Sounds is a network of environmental education centers located on North Carolina's ecologically rich Albermarle-Pamlico Peninsula. Each of these centers explores a different aspect of this region's remarkable natural heritage and maritime history.


The Partnership's main office is located in Columbia, NC, and may be reached by calling (252) 796-1000, or by email at  In the past the Partnership for the Sounds has provided support to the refuge by staffing the Walter B. Jones, Sr. Center for the Sounds and providing educational and interpretive programs.  The organization maintains the Tyrrell County Visitor’s Center in Columbia, NC which is adjacent to the refuge office.  The Partnership for the Sounds maintains several other facilities on the Albemarle Pamlico Peninsula that provide environmental education opportunities to residents and visitors.


And visit us at each of these unique facilities:

North Carolina Estuarium, Washington

(252) 948-0000

Roanoke/Cashie River, Windsor

(252) 794-2001

Columbia Theater Cultural Resources Center, Columbia

(252) 766-0200

Tyrrell County Visitor's Center, Columbia

(252) 796-0723


Town of Columbia: The Town of Columbia is located on the northern boundary of the refuge.  The refuge headquarters office and visitors center is located in Columbia.  The town actively promotes the refuge and state and local environmental programs and sites in the region.  An historical village located on the eastern shoreline of the Scuppernong River in northern Tyrrell County, Columbia was chartered in 1793 as Elizabethtown. The town became the Tyrrell County seat of government in 1799 and was renamed Columbia in 1801.


Columbia on the Scuppernong provides small town fellowship, friendliness and fun to both residents and tourists. The second Saturday each October brings 8,000 to 10,000 to the downtown area for our annual Scuppernong River Festival. Local organizations, clubs, churches, businesses, and government agencies, including Pocosin Lakes NWR, sponsor numerous activities throughout the year. The mild climate provides the perfect setting for enjoying the natural beauty along the pristine Scuppernong River.


The Atlantic Coast Joint Venture (ACJV) is a partnership of federal, regional and state agencies and organizations focused on the conservation of habitat for native bird species in the Atlantic Flyway of the United States from Maine south to Puerto Rico. The joint venture was originally formed as a regional partnership focused on the conservation of waterfowl and wetlands under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP). It steps down continental and regional waterfowl population and habitat goals from the NAWMP 2004 Update to the ACJV area, presents habitat conservation goals and population indices for the ACJV, provides current status assessments for waterfowl and their habitats in the joint venture, and updates focus area narratives and maps for each state. The ACJV is strongly committed to conserving the 41 species of native waterfowl occurring in the U.S. portion of the Atlantic Flyway.


The Partners in Flight (PIF) Conservation Plan (Continental Plan) established criteria for setting a Continental Population Objective for each high priority landbird species.  Restoration of migratory songbirds populations is a high priority for the PIF Plan for the South Atlantic Physiographic Region, which Mackay Island NWR falls within. Habitat loss, population trends, and the vulnerability of species to threats are all factors used in the priority ranking of species. Further, biologist from local offices of the Service, the North Carolina Wildlife Resource Commission, and conservation organizations such as the Audubon Society and The Nature Conservancy have helped to identify focal species for each habitat type from which they will determine population and habitat objectives and conservation actions. This information on focal species, objectives, and conservation actions will aid migratory bird management on the Refuge.


The United States Shorebird Conservation Plan outlines approaches to conserving those species groups. It provides strategies for conserving and managing wintering, breeding, and migration habitat for midcontinental wood duck and colonial bird populations.


The Black Duck Joint Venture (BDJV) was formed in 1989 to help determine population trends and to identify the important factors responsible for this change, with the ultimate goal of ensuring the security of the black duck throughout its range. The mission of the BDJV is to implement and coordinate a cooperative population monitoring, research, and communications program to provide information required to manage black ducks and restore numbers to the North American Waterfowl Management Plan (NAWMP) goal of 640,000 breeding birds in the original breeding ground survey area.