Snowy Plovers are pretty rare in NC but they do show up from time to time. I have seen them in California, Texas and Florida where they are more common. In California they are well protected by conservation efforts.
Nice comparison between a Piping Plover on the left and Snowy on the right. These pictures were taken at Rich Inlet in Wilmington, NC.
The following pictures were taken at Tijuana Slough in San Diego, CA.