Wilmington, NC – The Eagles Island Coalition is meeting Wednesday to discuss ecotourism plans for the site, including walking tours and paddle routes. WHQR's Michelle Bliss reports that the group consists of state and local offices, government entities, and private businesses that want to create recreational opportunities while preserving the area's natural habitats.
The New Hanover Soil and Water Conservation District has released an inventory of Eagles Island's historical and ecological properties. Director Dru Harrison says that with easier access the 2,100-acre island could be a central park for activities like hiking, kayaking, and fishing.
"There's a lot of development that's going on in Wilmington as well as Brunswick County and there's this huge open space between the two that acts as a buffer and can provide that needed outdoor space away from some of those things."
Another idea is to link the area to the North Carolina birding trail program so that it includes a bird checklist and access points for viewing the more than 1,000 shorebirds that visit each day during spring and fall migrations.
Harrison says the Eagles Island Coalition wants to make access easier so that residents and tourists from both New Hanover and Brunswick Counties can explore the site by land or by water.
"I've been out there myself in a canoe and to see the osprey stands in the middle of the island or the different habitats, you wouldn't realize that you're ten minutes away from an urban area."
The Eagles Island Coalition wants to preserve the site for public use. More than 800 acres are publicly owned right now. Eagles Island is located directly across the Cape Fear River from downtown Wilmington.
The Eagles Island Coalition meeting is open to the public. It's Wednesday from 2-5 p.m. aboard the Battleship North Carolina.
Learn more about Eagles Island .
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