Swan Island Oyster Sanctuary, North Carolina

Pamlico Sound, North Carolina

Endorsed by ACFHP in 2019.

The Swan Island Oyster Sanctuary is a 60-acre marine protected area comprised of limestone marl and granite that supports nearly 50 million oysters. It is part of a long-term management and restoration strategy for wild Eastern oysters (Crassostrea virginica) in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina. Swan Island is one of 15 oyster sanctuaries in the Jean Preston Oyster Sanctuary network that are closed to harvest. These marine protected areas support high density populations of broodstock oysters, producing large quantities of viable oyster for natural settlement on nearby reefs. These reefs provide habitat for a variety of finfish species, and water filtration services for the entire ecosystem. This project was a collaboration among many federal, state, NGO, and industry partners, and was led by the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, Division of Marine Fisheries and North Carolina Coastal Federation.

NCCF’s Swan Island Oyster Sanctuary webpage.

NC DEQ’s press release on the project.

Text provided by North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality Division of Marine Fisheries.