Zeke’s Island Reserve is located in the Cape Fear River basin and was one of the three original National Estuarine Research Reserve components dedicated by the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and the Division of Coastal Management in 1985. The lagoon-like inter-tidal 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.