Fort Fisher Basin


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Fort Fisher Basin: The Basin as know to locals is located at Fort Fisher Ferry departure point in New Hanover County. The Cape Fear River basin was one of the three original National Estuarine Research Reserve components dedicated by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and the Division of Coastal Management in 1985. The lagoon complex at the Basin site is one of the most unusual areas of the North Carolina coast. Three islands and a beach barrier spit within the site comprise over 1,100 acres. The islands are Zeke’s Island, North Island, and No Name Island. The islands are fringed with extensive marshes and tidal flats. This is a popular area for viewing of large numbers of different sea birds and other migratory birds along with other coastal wildlife.

Fish, shrimp, crabs, clams and oysters use the estuary as a nursery ground. Atlantic loggerhead sea turtles occasionally nest on the site’s ocean beach. The expanse of intertidal flats in the Zeke’s Island area is one of the most important shorebird habitats in southeastern North Carolina. Birds that are often seen in this area include: dunlins, black-bellied plovers, short-billed dowitchers, white ibises, great blue herons, snowy egrets, Louisiana herons, black ducks mallards and pintails.

Shrub thicket and maritime forest consisting of live oak, loblolly pine, wax myrtle, yaupon and red cedar occur where salt spray and sea water flooding do not prohibit woody plant growth. The site’s extensive salt marshes are dominated by a mixture of saltmarsh cordgrass, salt grass, black needlerush, sea ox-eye, glasswort and sea lavender

3 hour, sunset and full moon adventures are possible.

Adventure Cost:

  • Half Day / Single Person: $110
  • Half Day / Group of 2-5 Persons: $55 per person
  • Half Day / Group of 6-10 Persons: $45 per person