STATE: Wildlife agency enters partnership to enhance coastal waters access

Published 2:02 pm Wednesday, June 1, 2022

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The N.C. Wildlife Resources Commission, the lead agency responsible for developing quality boating access across the state, and the N.C. Marine and Estuary Foundation (NCMEF), a nonprofit organization promoting thriving coastal resources, announced Wednesday the formation of a joint venture that will enhance coastal access for boaters, recreational anglers and commercial fishermen.

The partnership will provide financial support to ensure clean, safe and convenient access at five of the coast’s largest public boating facilities located in Dare, Hyde, Carteret, New Hanover and Brunswick counties. F

inancial support provided by NCMEF is eligible to be matched with additional federal boating monies, further increasing the project’s value.

The collaboration will assist the Wildlife Commission with routine maintenance and facility upkeep at the following coastal locations:

  • Manns Harbor – Croatan Sound, Dare County
  • Swan Quarter – Pamlico Sound, Hyde County
  • Beaufort – Taylor’s Creek, Carteret County
  • Snow’s Cut – Intracoastal Waterway near Carolina Beach, New Hanover County
  • Oak Island – Intracoastal Waterway near Southport, Brunswick County

“We are very excited to launch this historic partnership to help ensure that all users of our coastal resources have clean, quality access to North Carolina fisheries,” said Allen Gant, chair of NCMEF’s Board of Directors. “As we focus on generating thorough research and sound policy solutions to develop world-class fisheries in North Carolina, this partnership to support boating access is in perfect alignment with the mission of our Foundation.”

“There are over 300,000 registered vessels in North Carolina. The Wildlife Commission maintains over 200 free boating access areas to meet the needs of those boat owners, 100 of which are strategically scattered along various coastal rivers, sounds and waterways,” said Cameron Ingram, executive director of the Wildlife Commission. “This tremendous partnership with the N.C. Marine and Estuary Foundation will help us to continue to provide safe and clean access areas in our coastal region for boaters to enjoy.”

Signage highlighting the joint venture will be posted at the coastal boating access areas included within the partnership. More information about these locations, and others statewide, can be found using the Wildlife Commission’s interactive boating access area locator at