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Guest - The Buckridge Coastal Reserve will soon add a vital missing piece thanks to federal wetlands grant, military funding - Environmentally Speaking

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The Buckridge Coastal Reserve will soon add a vital missing piece thanks to federal wetlands grant, military funding

At more than 27,000 acres, the Buckridge Coastal Reserve in Tyrrell County is already the largest of the 10 sites in the state’s Coastal Reserve program. But it’s about to get even bigger.

Thanks to a grant from the National Coastal Wetlands Program and additional funding from the U.S. Air Force, the reserve will soon acquire an additional 2,040 acres, an area known as the Woodley Tract.
 
 
The addition will strengthen the link for more than 400,000 acres of upland and aquatic habitat in the area, including the Buckridge Reserve, Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, Mattamuskeet National Wildlife Refuge, Pocosin Lakes National Wildlife Refuge, and tens of thousands of acres of other protected lands.
 
The reserve’s partnership with the U.S. Air Force and The Nature Conservancy through the Readiness and Environmental Protection Integration Program will provide 50 percent of the purchase price of the property, and will help secure operational boundaries around the Dare County Bombing Range.  
 
Located about 15 miles south of Columbia, N.C., the Buckridge site is part of the East Dismal Swamp, a wetlands complex of more than 320,000 acres in Dare, Tyrrell and Washington counties. The area provides habitat for many rare, threatened and endangered species, including red wolf, bald eagle, Atlantic and shortnose sturgeon, red-cockaded woodpecker, and American alligator.
 
The department’s Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve Program protects natural areas for education, research and compatible recreation. Since its creation in 1989, the program has preserved more than 42,000 acres of unique coastal environments at 10 sites along the coast. 
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