The Divisions of the Reserve


The Reserve system offers a number of educational opportunities and programs for the entire state of North Carolina and beyond, including K-12 school groups, the general public, special interest groups, teachers, and coastal decision makers.

For schools, the opportunities are endless, and facets of the education program include public and school field trips, summer camps, outreach presentations, teacher training programs, exhibits, and the production of curricular, informational and technical materials. All of these programs are designed to teach the importance of estuarine systems.

The K-12 student education program in particular gives students a chance to familiarize themselves with these habitats hands-on. Teachers have the option to bring their classes to various reserves for a two-hour interpretive nature hike, and off the trail, additional learning opportunities await such as seining for fish, conducting shore profiles, or testing the water quality.

For teachers and students who cannot make the trip, there are also a variety of programs and exercises that can introduce students to the habitats without leaving the classroom, and Reserve education staff are on hand to lead sessions on estuarine-related topics


The research portion of NCNERR operates under 4 general goals: To monitor and characterize the conditions of reserves, to conduct research at the reserves that is relevant to coastal management, to provide access to studies and data to all scientists, researches and educators, and to have these subsequent tools available to all educational and scientific communities as well as the general public.

In addition to these generalities, each reserve has its own unique considerations that are based on each ecological system. As a result, focus areas have been developed to help target the most beneficial activities to each Reserve site.

In the southern portions of the reserve sites, (near Cape fear and the Wilmington areas) special attention is paid to, Invasive species, nutrient transport, Sea turtle nesting success, Upland community connections and Emergent marsh ecology.

In the central district, (or central coastal sites) the focus is also on Invasive species and nutrient transport, but this area also monitors feral horse impacts, Shoreline stabilization effects on topography and biological function, Seagrass ecology, and Sea level rise.

The northern most areas, like Currituck and the Northern Outer Banks, focuses on Atmospheric deposition, Feral horse and pig impact on barrier island ecology and geology, Sea level rise, and Freshwater submerged aquatic vegetation ecology relative to water quality.

These focus areas and strategic goals are re-examined every five years to ensure that they stay current with the ever-changing conditions along the North Carolina coast.

More Information:

Terms: State Reserves: Divisions Of The Reserve

Information on State Reserves: Divisions Of The Reserve

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