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REMINDER: State strongly encourages visitor safety and responsible behavior for those considering Masonboro Island Reserve during the July Fourth holiday

Morehead City, NC

The N.C. Division of Coastal Management and the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office are urging the public to act responsibly during the upcoming July Fourth holiday at the Masonboro Island Reserve, a research reserve and dedicated state nature preserve. In preparation for the holiday, the state coastal agency and the sheriff’s office are working together to provide public safety resources and increase public awareness of responsible visitor behavior on the island. 

“Visitor safety is our first priority at Masonboro Island during the July Fourth holiday,” said Braxton Davis, director of the NC Division of Coastal Management. “Our partnership with the New Hanover County Sheriff’s Office has helped limit problems and ensure visitor safety over the past several years. I’m confident that will continue this year.”

The agencies would like to remind visitors not to attempt the dangerous swim across Masonboro Inlet and to make responsible decisions that limit the impact on natural resources. There are limited resources and no available facilities on the research reserve, so before visiting Masonboro Island or other reserve sites, please review visitor guidelines on our website

Preparedness is key for safety – visitors should carry proper supplies, use reliable transport, pack out all their trash, and keep the safety of other visitors in mind.

The North Carolina Division of Coastal Management, a division of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality, works to protect, conserve and manage North Carolina's coastal resources in the 20 coastal counties. The N.C. Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve Program protects natural areas for education, research, and compatible traditional uses. Since its creation in 1989, the program has preserved more than 44,000 acres of unique coastal environments at 10 sites along the coast.

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