- The 3,213-acre refuge is managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to preserve and protect a portion of the Outer Banks habitat for waterfowl, other migratory birds, endangered species and native wildlife.
The refuge is comprised of five main tracts scattered along the barrier island. The 1,142-acre Currituck Marsh tract and the 247-acre Station Landing Marsh tract are the two most northern tracts. The 1,390-acre Swan Island tract is the next tract to the south. The 380-acre Monkey Island tract, which includes several small islands in Currituck Sound, is located just north of a 50-acre tract owned by The Nature Conservancy and an adjoining 335-acre tract owned by the North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve. The two most southern tracts are the County Marsh tracts, totaling 54 acres, which are located northwest of the Currituck Beach Lighthouse in Corolla, NC.
A variety of habitat types are found on the refuge, and they have a fairly regular transition of types from the Atlantic Ocean to Currituck Sound. The transition is typically from barren, sandy beaches to grassy dunes (dominated by sea oats, American beach grass, panic grass, and salt meadow cordgrass). Maritime forests (dominated by live oak and loblolly pine) and shrub thickets of stunted live oak, loblolly pine, wax myrtle, and bayberry are usually the next components. Freshwater marshes (dominated by cattails and a mixture of sedges and rushes) and brackish marshes (dominated by black needlerush and giant cordgrass) are found closer to the sound. Mud flats are frequently exposed along the sound by wind tides. Freshwater ponds and grassy inter-dunal wetlands (flats) are scattered throughout the tracts.
A variety of wildlife species, including wading birds, shorebirds, waterfowl, raptors, mammals, reptiles, and amphibians common to the eastern United States, are found on the refuge.
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).
The Currituck National Wildlife Refuge is located on North Carolina's Outer Banks barrier island strand.