National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, South Carolina.
North Inlet-Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve protects more than 12,327 acres of habitats ranging from tidal and transitional marshes to oyster reefs, beaches, and inter-tidal flats and from coastal island forests to open waterways. With more than 90 percent of North Inlet estuary's watershed in its natural forested state, its relatively pristine salt marshes and ocean-dominated tidal creeks have higher water and habitat quality than those in adjacent Winyah Bay. As the estuary with the third largest watershed on the east coast, Winyah Bay's brackish waters and marshes have been greatly influenced by agriculture, industry and other human activities. The reserve is home to many threatened and endangered species, including sea turtles, sturgeons, least terns and wood storks.
The reserve is located in Georgetown County, S.C., 30 miles south of Myrtle Beach and 50 miles north of Charleston.