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New Hanover County land and farms draw investors, developers and homebuyers looking for opportunities to be in an area with unlimited potential for business and for just enjoying life. Located in the Coastal Plain, the 328-square-mile county has a population of 235,000. Land in New Hanover County is bordered on the east by the Atlantic Ocean, on the west by the Cape Fear River and Pender and Brunswick counties adjacent. The completion of I-40 in the early 1990s opened the door for tourists who now flock to popular beach towns such as Carolina Beach, Wrightsville Beach and Kure Beach. Wilmington is one of the state’s major ports and is the berthing place of the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial. The county has a growing manufacturing segment that produces optical fibers, nuclear fuel components, chemicals, molded plastic parts, nails, fabricated and stock steel and computer software. Included in the top private employers are New Hanover Regional Medication Center, PPD Development Inc. and Cellco Partnership. Fishing is a popular pastime with both residents and visitors who fish both in the ocean and in the Cape Fear River and its tributaries. Fort Fisher State Historic Site, Wilmington Railroad Museum and the North Carolina Aquarium are three of the many attractions. New Hanover County Schools provides K-12 public education. Cape Fear Community College and University of North Carolina at Wilmington offer higher learning.