The National Wildlife Refuge System is committed to building partnerships which encourage conservation and preservation of our natural and cultural resources.  Partnerships with the Refuge System bring innovative approaches to solving land management and water disputes in the most environmentally protective manner.  Scientifically-informed and technologically-based stewardship of our public lands, waters, wildlife and special places must be collaborative efforts between the Refuge System, other government agencies, and private organizations if conservation efforts are to succeed.

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 Roanoke River NWR.  The Service and the Commission manage hunting on National Wildlife Refuge lands on the Albemarle-Pamlico Peninsula through a joint venture.

Formed in 1993, the Partnership for the Soundsis 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  The Partnership maintains the Roanoke/Cashie River Center in Windsor, adjacent to the refuge headquarters.  The Center provides interpretive displays about the rich natural and cultural heritage of the communities along the Roanoke River.  In addition, the Partnership offers environmental and historical education programs for residents and visitors. 

The Nature Conservancy is a neighboring land owner along the Roanoke River and has been instrumental to the Service in acquiring land for the refuge.  Along with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Duke Power and the refuge, TNC is working to insure management of water control on the river is beneficial to both human and natural environments.  All are participants in the USACOE’s study of flood control operations on the Roanoke River under Section 216 of the Flood Control Act of 1970.

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 and the Waterbirds for the Americas outline 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.