- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service purchased the first portion of the island (7,830 acres) in 1964. Additional acres were acquired through 1967. In 1970, an abandoned U.S. Navy radar station was obtained and converted into the refuge field office. A 1,955 acre tract was donated to the refuge in 1990.
Today the 14,480 acre refuge consists of approximately 11,000 acres of irregularly flooded, brackish marsh and 3,480 acres of pocosin and woodland habitat. The dominant marsh plants include black needlerush, salt marsh cordgrass, salt meadow hay and salt grass. The woodland areas are dominated by loblolly pine, longleaf and pond pine. Live oak is also abundant on some upland sites. The marsh and surrounding waters provide wintering habitat for thousands of ducks and nesting habitat for colonial waterbirds.
Climate - Winter daytime temperatures average above 44 degrees Fahrenheit (7 Celsius). Summer daytime temperatures range above 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 Celsius). The state has a fairly wet climate with an average precipitation for this area averaging 48 to 52 inches (122 to 132 centimeters).
Cedar Island National Wildlife Refuge, located in Carteret County, North Carolina is on the end of a peninsula marking the southern end of Pamlico Sound. The refuge lies five miles northeast of the Atlantic ocean and about 40 miles northeast of Beaufort, North Carolina.