Zeke's Island Reserve is an important shorebird habitat, only accessible by kayak, canoe, boat or SUP, features a dynamic landscape of tidal flats, salt marshes, dunes, and ocean beaches. The Reserve protects coastal habitats for long-term research, education, and stewardship. Located in the Cape Fear River basin, it was one of the three original National Estuarine Research Reserve components dedicated by NOAA and the Division of Coastal Management in 1985. The lagoon-like intertidal complex found at the Zeke's Island Reserve is one of the most important shorebird feeding habitats on the East Coast. Bird species such as dunlin, black-bellied plovers, short-billed dowitchers, white ibis, and great blue herons as well as black ducks, mallards, and pintails have been recorded at Zeke's Island.