- Associated Press - Monday, December 14, 2015

SWANSBORO, N.C. (AP) - State officials have approved plans for the donation of an island to Hammocks Beach State Park near Swansboro.

The owner of Dudley Island has agreed to donate the 450-acre island to the state park, The Daily News of Jacksonville (https://bit.ly/1Z84RwD ) reported.

The Council of State has approved plans for the first phase of the donation to the park.

Sue Regier with the North Carolina Division of Parks and Recreation says Dudley Island owner Jonathan Popkin of Jacksonville has agreed to donate the land in phases over three years.

Regier says Popkin wants to see that the island is permanently preserved.



Dudley Island is at the mouth of the White Oak River north of Bear Island and south of Huggins Island, which are already part of the park.

The property is a valuable habitat for nesting birds and marine life, Regier said.

The first phase of the donation will be about 150 acres.

Dudley Island would be the second addition to the park this year.

Nearly 300 acres were added to the mainland part of the park after a legal battle with the heirs of the adjacent Hammocks property was settled and the state bought the land for $10 million.

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Information from: The Daily News, https://www.jdnews.com

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