The Rachel Carson Reserve, part of the four-component North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve, is just across Taylor's Creek from Beaufort. It may look like just a collection of small marshy islands — including Town Marsh, Bird Shoals, Carrot Island, Middle Marshes — but the reserve is an active field research and classroom site. Public field trips on the Rachel Carson component of the N.C. National Estuarine Research Reserve occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 8:30 to 10:30 AM during June, July and August. All programs are open and free to the public, but reservations are required as boat space is limited.
The program is a joint program through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and North Carolina State Division of Coastal Management. The reserve system was created to maintain undisturbed estuaries for research on the natural and human processes that affect the coast, and the Rachel Carson site serves that purpose well.
The reserve's 2,600 acres of uplands, marshes and intertidal/subtidal flats makes for a fascinating tour. The site is always open to the public and is accessible only by boat. For more information about the Rachel Carson component, call the number above.
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