north carolina marine & estuary foundation

Thinking Coastal: Teaming Up For Boating Access

June 13, 2024

Few activities bring friends and families together like boating and fishing along our coastline. The NC Wildlife Resources Commission and the NC Marine & Estuary Foundation have teamed up yet again to bring quality boating access to coastal North Carolina for all to enjoy.

In 2022, both groups announced a partnership that would enhance boating access at five of the coast’s largest public boating access areas. This year, the unique partnership has been extended through 2025 and now includes three additional sites, bringing the total to eight. The NC Marine & Estuary Foundation provides financial support to assist the NC Wildlife Resources Commission with routine maintenance and infrastructure repairs at the following boating access areas:

Weldon — Roanoke River, Halifax County
Manns Harbor
— Croatan Sound, Dare County
Swan Quarter — Pamlico Sound, Hyde County
Straits Landing — North River near Harkers Island, Carteret County
Beaufort — Taylor’s Creek, Carteret County
Wrightsville Beach — Intracoastal Waterway, New Hanover County
Snow’s Cut — Intracoastal Waterway near Carolina Beach, New Hanover County
Oak Island — Intracoastal Waterway near Southport, Brunswick County

“The Foundation is thrilled to expand this partnership with the Commission,” remarked Chad Thomas, Executive Director of the NC Marine & Estuary Foundation. “Providing clean, convenient access to our sounds and waterways is critical to the economic health and enjoyment of our coast, whether these areas are used by recreational boaters, anglers, or commercial watermen.”

Several of these locations, including Straits Landing and Wrightsville Beach, were recently renovated by the Commission to offer improved amenities. Each access site is ADA compliant and engineered to provide smooth launching and retrieving of vessels.

“With 250 free boating access areas spread across more than 100 different bodies of water, the Wildlife Resources Commission recognizes the importance of proper maintenance and dependable infrastructure,” stated Brian McRae, Deputy Director of Operations for the NC Wildlife Resources Commission. “We are pleased to continue our partnership with the NC Marine & Estuary Foundation, a group that shares our commitment to providing quality boating opportunities along our coast.”

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