News Release
Southeast Region


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New Project Leader for Three Eastern North Carolina Refuges

July 18, 2012


A man with gray hear and a white beard stands in uniform in front of a forested background

Pete Campbell. Photo by Susan Campbell. Download.

Peter Campbell, a 19-year veteran of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is the new Project leader for Mattamuskeet, Swanquarter, and Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuges in North Carolina.  On July 15, he began his new role as leader of the refuge complex.

“Pete’s experience with forming and coordinating multi-partner conservation initiatives, such as the North Carolina Sandhills Conservation Partnership, is helping to chart the direction of the Service,” said David Viker, the Service’s Southeast Regional Chief of the National Wildlife Refuge System. “As project leader of these refuges, he’ll continue to help refuge staff members, local businesses, and community members and organizations find mutually beneficial approaches to conservation efforts.”

One of Campbell’s top priorities will be to establish Friends Groups at Mattamuskeet and Cedar Island Refuges.  Friends Groups, comprised of community volunteers, assist refuge staff members by helping with public events, teaching the community about wildlife and conservation, maintaining refuge trails and wildlife habitat, and raising funds.

“I am honored to have been selected as the new project leader for these three refuges,” Campbell said.  “I know the work will be both challenging and rewarding and will require a team effort on the part of Service staff working together with members of the local communities who have come to love these refuges.”

Campbell has worked for the Fish and Wildlife Service for 19 of his 21 years with the federal government.

For about 15 years, Campbell served as a wildlife biologist in the Service’s North Carolina Sandhills Sub-Office, a satellite office of the Raleigh, North Carolina, Ecological Services Field Office.   He helped create the North Carolina Sandhills Conservation Partnership. The partnership’s mission focused on recovery efforts to benefit the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker and restoring the longleaf pine ecosystem on which it depends.  Since its founding 12 years ago, the partnership has recovered two populations of this endangered woodpecker and secured protection and management of more than 18,000 acres of longleaf pine habitat in the Sandhills.

Campbell also helped establish the Conservation Center of the Sandhills, a store-front office accessible to the public, where three members of the partnership, the Service, the Nature Conservancy, and the Sandhills Area Land Trust are housed.  Sharing space in the center enables these partners to communicate more easily with each other, as well as land-owners and foresters, on wildlife initiatives. 

He will continue to serve as co-chair of the Eastern North Carolina and Southeastern Virginia Strategic Habitat Conservation Team, a partner in the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC).  In 2009 and 2010, when the South Atlantic LCC was formed, Campbell served as its Interim Coordinator.  The LCC coordinates the efforts and resources of numerous federal, state, and non-profit conservation organizations to provide the best science to on-the-ground land management agencies, such as refuges, to accomplish “the right things in the right places for the right reasons.”

He has worked with the Service for almost his entire career.  For two years, from 1995 to 1997, he worked for the U.S. Geological  Survey as the coordinator of a multi-agency group that created the first national land cover map.

Originally from New Jersey, Campbell grew up in an urban area, not far from New York.  His family later moved to rural northwest New Jersey near the Delaware River when he was 10 years old. Campbell says it was there he “first fell in love with the outdoors and learned how to hunt and fish.”

Campbell graduated from North Carolina State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Zoology with a Wildlife Biology emphasis.  His wife Susan is an ornithologist with a primary research interest in hummingbird migration. 

The 40,000-acre Lake Mattamuskeet, North Carolina’s largest natural lake, is within Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, Swan Quarter, North Carolina.   More than 100,000 visitors annually enjoy fishing, crabbing, hunting for waterfowl and deer and observing wintering waterfowl, such as Canada geese, ducks, and tundra swans.  The 16,411-acre Swanquarter National Wildlife Refuge features the Swanquarter National Wilderness Area which is part of an extensive coastal marsh.  Located on the north shore of Pamlico Sound, most of the refuge, except for the Bell Island Unit near Swanquarter, is only accessible by boat.  Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge is located in Carteret County on the end of a peninsula marking the southern end of Pamlico Sound. Cedar Island features an extensive coastal marsh.  Both Cedar Island and Swanquarter refuges have large concentrations of waterfowl, including diving ducks, such as lesser scaups, redheads, canvasbacks, buffleheads, sea ducks, American black ducks, black rails, wading birds, and shorebirds.


The mission of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is working with others to conserve, protect, and enhance fish, wildlife, plants, and their habitats for the continuing benefit of the American people. We are both a leader and trusted partner in fish and wildlife conservation, known for our scientific excellence, stewardship of lands and natural resources, dedicated professionals, and commitment to public service. For more information on our work and the people who make it happen, visit Connect with our Facebook page at, follow our tweets at, watch our YouTube Channel at and download photos from our Flickr page at


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Last updated: July 9, 2012