Coast

Conserving North Carolina's Coasts

Photo: Lindsay Addison

The Audubon North Carolina Coast Islands and Sanctuaries Program manages and protects 40% of North Carolina's nesting coastal waterbirds and contributes to science that protects both breeding and non-breeding birds in the state year-round. This long-term commitment to these sites, and the partnerships with agencies and other organizations that are created and sustained by that work, are the foundation of our leadership role in coastal bird conservation in North Carolina.

The sanctuary program’s ongoing mission is to manage, monitor, and protect our sites using best practices and support partners in doing the same; provide meaningful data to agencies and policymakers; and lead and support research that generates new knowledge about coastal birds and the habitats they depend on. This work connects all of our other coast-related work: policy, planning, and advocacy for the sites and resources coastal birds need to face an uncertain climate future, and education and outreach that engages Audubon’s network and inspires individuals to support coastal conservation.

Sharing Our Ocean & Shores
Coast

Sharing Our Ocean & Shores

Protecting coastal habitats for generations to come.

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Coast Islands and Sanctuary Program
Coast

Coast Islands and Sanctuary Program

For more than 25 years, Audubon’s Coastal Island Sanctuary Program has been a model for conservation along the Atlantic Flyway.

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Coastal Birds: Your Top Questions, Answered
Coast

Coastal Birds: Your Top Questions, Answered

We hope these FAQs on coastal birds will help you find the birds you most wish to see, better support birds during nesting and migration season, and more!

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Birds You Can Help Right Now

American Oystercatcher

Latin:  Haematopus palliatus

Illustration for American Oystercatcher

Least Tern

Latin:  Sternula antillarum

Illustration for Least Tern

Brown Pelican

Latin:  Pelecanus occidentalis

Illustration for Brown Pelican

Piping Plover

Latin:  Charadrius melodus

Illustration for Piping Plover

Great Egret

Latin:  Ardea alba

Illustration for Great Egret

Laughing Gull

Latin:  Leucophaeus atricilla

Illustration for Laughing Gull

Snowy Egret

Latin:  Egretta thula

Illustration for Snowy Egret

Black Skimmer

Latin:  Rynchops niger

Illustration for Black Skimmer

Latest Coast Posts

‘Tis the Season for Baby Birds
Coast

‘Tis the Season for Baby Birds

It’s already time to for our mid-season coastal nesting update from the Cape Fear River and beyond.

Cape Fear Royal Terns Get GPS Transmitters
Coast

Cape Fear Royal Terns Get GPS Transmitters

A first for the Atlantic flyway we're tracking Royal Terns that nest on the Cape Fear River to document important foraging grounds and more.

The Birds are Back in Town
Media Releases

The Birds are Back in Town

As we welcome the return of our coastal birds for the breeding season, we need your help to keep them safe.

Waterbird Survey Shows Continued Declines for Beach-nesting Species
Coast

Waterbird Survey Shows Continued Declines for Beach-nesting Species

A 2023 census report shows substantial declines for Black Skimmers, among others. Here's how we’re working to turn the tide.

Trail Cameras Show Perils Facing Oystercatcher Families on the Cape Fear River
Coast

Trail Cameras Show Perils Facing Oystercatcher Families on the Cape Fear River

Less than a quarter of oystercatcher parents were able to successfully raise chicks on the river last summer. Trail camera footage reveals some of the reasons why.

Expansion of Eastern NC Refuge Would Bring Critical Bird Habitat into Conservation
News

Expansion of Eastern NC Refuge Would Bring Critical Bird Habitat into Conservation

Audubon and our members backed the proposed expansion of a refuge that supports the highest density of nesting birds in our state.

Behind the Gates: Winter at Pine Island
Donal C. O'Brien, Jr. Sanctuary And Audubon Center In Corolla

Behind the Gates: Winter at Pine Island

There’s more to winter at Pine Island than cold weather and waterfowl. Join award-winning photographer Bryan Putnam for a tour.

Marsh Restoration Projects Take Shape at Audubon’s Pine Island Sanctuary
Coast

Marsh Restoration Projects Take Shape at Audubon’s Pine Island Sanctuary

Pilot projects will test methods for protecting and rebuilding Currituck Sound marshes.

Legislative Recap: Native Plants Win, Wetlands Loss
News

Legislative Recap: Native Plants Win, Wetlands Loss

Here’s what the 2023 legislative session means for birds.

Celebrating 10-years of Coastal Stewardship at Wrightsville Beach
News

Celebrating 10-years of Coastal Stewardship at Wrightsville Beach

The Wrightsville Beach Bird Steward program turned 10 this year. Our coastal conservation work wouldn’t be possible without the help of these volunteers.

How you can help, right now