Introducing North Carolina’s Reefs
The North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries maintains 42 ocean artificial reefs and 20 estuarine reefs, 14 of which serve as oyster sanctuaries. Ocean reefs are located from ½ mile to 38 miles from shore and are situated so that they can be reached from every maintained inlet in the state. The estuarine sites are found in Pamlico Sound and its tributaries, the Chowan River and the New River. Estuarine reefs are designated with yellow class four or five buoys noting the reef site, a N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries sign, and a phone number. Oyster Sanctuaries are designated with white, class-four buoys or three-pile dolphin markers that identify the site as an oyster sanctuary.