Public Programs

The Reserve includes about 12,300 acres of tidal wetlands, oyster reefs, former rice fields and waterways on or bordering the Belle W. Baruch Foundation’s 17,500 acre wildlife preserve, Hobcaw Barony, near Georgetown, SC. Public access to the Reserve and Hobcaw Barony is limited, but much of the Reserve can be accessed by water and visitors are welcome to enjoy and help conserve the resources of North Inlet and Winyah Bay.  The Hobcaw Barony Discovery Center (located at the entrance to Hobcaw Barony) is open to the public (Monday to Saturday, 9:00 AM-5:00 PM) and allows visitors to experience the property while protecting sensitive habitats and ongoing research activities.  The Discovery Center features information on the Reserve and includes a 1200 gallon saltwater aquarium and exhibits on a variety of coastal ecosystems-including salt marshes, barrier beaches, and pine and cypress habitats-as well as ongoing research and monitoring being conducted in these unique systems.

Another way to experience the wonders the North Inlet – Winyah Bay NERR offers is to participate in the variety of scheduled Public Programs that are led by Reserve staff. Opportunities are available to explore the flora and fauna of the marsh while biking, kayaking, seining, or strolling along our boardwalk. Some programs allow volunteers to assist with current research projects that are being conducted at the Reserve. One example is the “Fishes of North Inlet Estuary” program, where participants assist scientists in the sorting, measurement and weighing of fishes, shrimps, and crabs collected as part of a long-term survey initiated in 1984.


Program Registration Information

Since enrollment is limited for most activities, registration by phone is required. Please call 843-904-9016 or 843-904-9017. Business hours are Monday to Saturday, 9:00 AM- 5:00 PM, but calls outside of business hours will be forwarded to a voice message system. Please leave your name and phone number, the program you’re interested in, and the number of spaces you’d prefer. Registrants will be notified of registration confirmation and program specifics. Phone registration also allows us to contact you if a program is cancelled for any reason.

Once we have received phone registration, payments (for programs with a fee) can be made in two ways: you may pay in person the day of the program (cash, check, credit, or debit card – sorry no American Express), or you can mail check payment to the address located below. Please make checks payable to “USC”.

North Inlet Winyah Bay NERR
USC Baruch Marine Lab
PO Box 1630
Georgetown, SC 29442

Please notify us immediately if your plans change. In case of program cancellation by a participant, a refund of the cost of the program minus a $5.00 processing fee will be made. A full refund will be issued if a paid program is cancelled by the Reserve.


All programs will begin at the Hobcaw Barony Discovery Center on Highway 17, unless otherwise noted.

From Myrtle Beach: Take Hwy 17 south towards Georgetown approximately 35 miles. The Hobcaw Barony Discovery Center will be located on the left 1 mile past DeBordieu.

From Georgetown: Take Hwy 17 north towards Myrtle Beach approximately 1 mile. The Hobcaw Barony Discovery Center will be located on the right once you pass over the Black and Waccamaw Rivers.

NOAA National Estuarine Research Reserve System University of South Carolina Baruch Institute-USC Belle W. Baruch Foundation