About This Reserve
Most of the reserve is located on Hobcaw Barony, a 17,500 acre property of the Baruch Foundation designated for conservation, research, and education. It includes North Inlet and Winyah Bay and encompasses tidal and transitional marshes, oyster reefs, beaches, coastal forest, and open water. North Inlet is an ocean-dominated estuary that features high water quality, extensive salt marshes, and a small forested watershed that is relatively undeveloped. In contrast, Winyah Bay is a brackish-water estuary that drains four major rivers and the third largest watershed on the East Coast, and is greatly influenced by forestry and other human activities.
The North Inlet-Winyah Bay Reserve is one of 30 areas in the National Estuarine Research Reserve System. The site is protected for long-term research, water-quality monitoring, education, and coastal stewardship. Daily management is provided by the University of South Carolina Baruch Marine Field Laboratory with assistance from local partners. NOAA’s Office for Coastal Management provides funding, national guidance, and technical assistance.