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What is the name of the island north of Figure Eight Island and south of Topsail Island?

Ben Steelman
Lea-Hutaff Islands

Lea Island and Hutaff Island used to be separate entities.

You’re probably thinking of Lea-Hutaff Island, two interconnected, undeveloped barrier islands off the coast in Pender County.

Lea Island and Hutaff Island used to be separate entities but have been a single land mass since Old Topsail Inlet closed in 1998. They are accessible only by boat.

The islands lie on the spring and/or fall migration paths of more than two dozen species of shore birds and support larger colonies of terns and skimmers. Loggerhead turtles nest on the beaches.

 In 2010, Audubon North Carolina purchased 36 acres of Lea Island for an undisclosed sum. The N.C. Coastal Land Trust has been buying up lots on Lea Island since 2000 and has so far protected more than 28 acres. Hutaff Island remains in private ownership by members of the Hutaff family, for which it is named.

Just one dwelling sits on each island, or former island. Parts of Lea Island were once subdivided for development, but it seems increasingly likely Lea-Hutaff will remain (as Audubon North Carolina calls it) “one of North Carolina’s few undisturbed and relatively pristine barrier islands.”

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User-contributed question by:
Tom Pickles

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3 Responses to “ What is the name of the island north of Figure Eight Island and south of Topsail Island?”

  1. On July 20, 2011 at 8:36 pm Hello wrote:

    It is not actually old Topsail Inlet, it was actually called Elmore’s inlet. Elmore’s seperated Hutaff and Lea.

  2. On July 22, 2011 at 10:52 am Bert wrote:

    You are certainly correct on Elmore’s inlet. Elmore’s closed and unfortunately combined to two islands. Now, if we can keep Audobon off of it then yes, we the humans can enjoy it.

    Special interest groups like Audobon will do everything they can to keep people from enjoying the island. Please know that Audobon has NO LEGAL right to keep anyone off of the island except on lands owned by them.

    However, the Coastal Land trust is much more receptive to allowing humans to use these PUBLIC BEACHES and lands under their control.

  3. On July 25, 2011 at 10:28 am Adam wrote:

    The inlet goes by both names: Elmore’s to locals and Old Topsail on many of the charts. I am thankful that Audubon is there to protect the island and the great wildlife that use the island. They have done a great job and I support them 100% and they have never done anything to keep anyone off the island. Anyone who thinks so has obviously never been there.

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