The Bird Island Reserve has pristine sandy white beaches, high natural dunes and more than 1,200 acres of beautiful salt marsh and tidal creeks. This natural area is one of 10 sites that make up the North Carolina Coastal Reserve & National Estuarine Research Reserve. Preservation of the Bird Island Reserve allows this coastal ecosystem to be available as an outdoor laboratory where scientists, students and the public can learn about processes, functions and influences that shape and sustain the coastal area. A popular destination for boaters, beachcombers, and bicyclists, visitors are invited to enjoy this perfect sanctuary, visit the Kindred Spirit mailbox, learn about sand dune wildlife and experience the history and habitats of the beautiful coastal preserve, as long as they do not disturb the environment or organisms or interfere with research and educational activities. Guided educational walks to Bird Island will be hosted this summer by the Bird Island Preservation Society Stewards. Walks begin at the 40th Street walkover and the beach at 8:30 am every Wednesday from June through August and will last about 1.5 to 2 hours.