North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve


The North Inlet-Winyah Bay Reserve encompasses about 18,916 acres of tidal marshes and wetlands. North Inlet is an ocean-dominated estuary, featuring high water quality and extensive salt marshes surrounded by a small, forested watershed that is currently in a relatively undeveloped state. Freshwater input into North Inlet drains from the lands of Hobcaw Barony to the east, and Debordieu residential community to the north. Winyah Bay, in contrast, is a brackish water estuary dominated by input from four major rivers flowing into it. These rivers – the Waccamaw, Sampit, Black, and Pee Dee Rivers – drain the third largest watershed (approximately 18,000 square miles) on the east coast of the US, a watershed that is impacted by agricultural, municipal and industrial development.

Mission: Through research, education, stewardship and training, the Reserve promotes healthy estuaries, watershed preservation, resilient coastal communities, and thriving ecosystems.

Adaptation Work:


A comprehensive, interdisciplinary, and coordinated approach to research in the NERR system addresses scientific and technical aspects of coastal management issues. Research and monitoring programs, including the development of baseline information, used in combination with education and outreach programs, help ensure the availability of scientific information that has long-term, system-wide consistency and utility for managers and members of the public to use in protecting or improving natural resources in their estuaries.

The reserve system has identified five priority research areas: habitat and ecosystem processes, anthropogenic influences on estuaries, habitat conservation and restoration, species management, and social science and economics. The NI-WB Reserve’s research and monitoring activities are structured to address local- to regional-scale coastal priority issues, within the broader context of addressing nationally significant coastal research and resource management needs. A key priority for the Research and Monitoring Sector is to improve the accessibility and use of the Reserve’s data, synthesis products and expertise in education, coastal training, and stewardship programs within the Reserve.

Phone Number: 843-546-6219