Coastal Advocacy Institute

Join the Coastal Advocacy Institute this summer! 

This program offers an opportunity to learn valuable skills at a successful coastal non-profit organization. It is offered out of our headquarters in Ocean, Carteret County between Morehead City and Swansboro in beautiful coastal North Carolina. 

Working alongside dedicated professionals, interns learn about:

  • Coastal policy analysis
  • Habitat restoration
  • Environmental education
  • The inner workings of non-profit management, including public relations, strategic planning, marketing, board management, communications and volunteer organizing

2012 Interns of the Coastal Advocacy Institute.

This is a hands-on, fully immersive program. You will dive headfirst into local, state and national policy, restoration and education issues in which the federation engages.  The program features a wide range of field and hands-on training and experiences, including legislative environmental advocacy, fundraising, communications, habitat preservation and restoration, environmental education and nonprofit governance.

This program takes advantage of the world-class scientists and policy experts that live in the area around our headquarters office, where the institute takes place. Three university marine labs and a NOAA lab are all within 15 minutes of our office, and many of the scientists participate as speakers and leaders of site visits.

In addition, many of our longstanding partners at state and federal agencies, local governments and industry also give talks, presentations and trips to the field.

Each participant will be expected to participate in group projects and an independent research project, which will be agreed upon by both the participant and the federation. All policy associates will receive a Certificate of Completion when they successfully complete the internship.

 Program Objectives

  • Understand and experience the natural coast by engaging in a variety of field projects and site visits
  • Increase awareness of major coastal environmental issues and debates
  • Review coastal management laws and regulations and their implementation at the federal, state and local levels
  • Learn  to manage and operate a nonprofit(membership and board development, use of volunteers, staffing, accounting, grant writing, communications)
  • Learn about the roles of science, law, politics and media relations in coastal advocacy, effective public participation models and engagement strategies
  • Work on group assignments and presentations of independent projects


  • Self-motivated with the ability to work independently and with a team
  • Able to work in a flexible and dynamic work environment
  • Ability to plan ahead, organize and prioritize with an attention to detail
  • Clear communicator, both verbally and in writing
  • Love of the coastal environment

Learn More:

Interns restore an eroding shoreline by planting marsh grass along the coast. 
  • Take a look at what our 2014 interns had to say about the program: Meet our 2014 Interns here.
  • To see a sample program schedule click here.
  • To see a list of projects our interns completed in 2013 click here.

The federation is proud to have been chosen to participate in the Stanback Internship Program since its inception. In 2012 we expanded the Institute to include students from other institutions, and we invite anyone with an interest in environmental protection, advocacy and restoration to apply.


The program runs from mid-May to early August and the deadline for applications is February 28.

Internship compensation is offered to selected Duke University Students participating in the Stanback Internship Program. Additional compensated internship positions will be offered in 2015 through a grant from the Campbell Foundation. For more information about internship compensation contact Ana Zivanovic-Nenadovic.

To apply, please review our website to learn more about our ongoing work, then email a cover letter and a resume to Ana Zivanovic-Nenadovic. In the cover letter please outline your skills and abilities, your interest in restoration, advocacy and/or education and the types of project that interest you.