BOLIVIA, N.C. (June 13, 2013) – North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands is one of the great unspoiled coastal areas in the state, boasting six nature preserves. The most famous preserve, attracting the attention of the New York Times during its fight for preservation, is Bird Island. This 1,400-acre swath of land at the end of Sunset Beach was once an actual island, reachable by foot only at low tide. But in the late 90s, hurricane activity closed the inlet, creating a permanent walking path.
For people who want to learn more about the history and wildlife of the island, there is no better time to visit because guided tours have returned for the summer. The Bird Island Preservation Society Stewards (in partnership with the N.C. Coastal Land Trust and the N.C. Division of Coastal Management) will be hosting guided educational walks to Bird Island this summer from June 12 to August 28.
The walks will highlight the history of the island and its numerous biotic communities (marsh, shrub, swamp, grassland), home to several threatened species including Loggerhead Turtles and Seabeach Amaranth. And no visit to Bird Island would be complete without a journey to the Kindred Spirit mailbox where visitors from around the world record their reflections in one of the notebooks kept inside the mailbox.
Walks begin at the 40th Street walkover and the beach at 9 a.m. every Wednesday, and will last about one hour. Visitors should bring water and sun protection.
The walks originated in 1992 by local resident and preservation leader Frank Nesmith in an effort to educate the public about the island’s natural wonders as it faced private development. The Bird Island Preservation Society was formed to protect the island, and led to its eventual purchase by the State and designation as a Coastal Reserve in 2002.
About North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands In the southernmost corner of North Carolina, stretching from the Cape Fear River to the South Carolina border, lie North Carolina’s Brunswick Islands. Five barrier islands provide secluded spots on six pristine beaches for families and nature-lovers, while quaint island and mainland towns beckon with family-owned B&Bs, restaurants and shops. Forts, lighthouses, historic architecture, boating, fishing and 34 golf courses offer plenty to do and see on a trip that harkens back to a simpler time. For more information, visit www.ncbrunswick.com.