“Essential Fish Habitat” (EFH), are defined as “those waters and substrate necessary to fish for spawning, breeding, feeding, or growth to maturity.” Section 303(a)(7) of the Magnuson-Stevens Act, 16 U.S.C. §§ 1801 et seq., as amended by the Sustainable Fisheries Act in 1996, requires that Fishery Management Plans (FMPs) describe and identify essential fish habitat (EFH) within the U.S. Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) for all life stages of each species in a fishery management unit. Available information should be interpreted with a risk-averse approach to ensure that adequate areas are protected as EFH for the managed species. In North Carolina, salt marshes, oyster reefs, and seagrass beds are designated EFH for red drum and penaeid shrimp, species managed cooperatively by state and federal authorities.