Members of the Leadership Carteret 2017 class pose for a group photo with federation staff members.

The Leadership Carteret class of 2017 stopped by the North Carolina Coastal Federation’s central office on Feb. 1 for a presentation and barbecue with staff.

Leadership Carteret is an annual program that brings together some of Carteret County’s top decision-makers and business leaders. During the 10-week program, members attend Wednesday presentations at organizations throughout the county. This year’s class included people from Carteret Community College, Emerald Isle Realty and other local businesses and groups.

Sarah Williams, secretary of the federation’s board of directors, started off the event with a presentation on the federation’s mission and stressed the importance of the federation’s ability to find common ground with unlikely groups or people.

Williams participated in Leadership Carteret a few years ago. A Swansboro native, she is currently deputy clerk for Pine Knoll Shores.

Rachel Bisesi, coastal education coordinator, followed Williams’s presentation with one on some of the federation’s key goals — reducing stormwater runoff, spreading the use and awareness of living shorelines and restoring oysters.


Butch Moore, from the Crystal Coast Civic Center, helps Rachel Bisesi with a model rain garden demonstration.

Bisesi explained how rerouting a downspout into yards can decrease stormwater runoff by up to 90 percent, which impressed the Leadership Carteret members. They also learned more about rain gardens. One member helped Bisesi with the stormwater model by pouring water on the roof of a miniature house to demonstrate how water flows and can be absorbed by a rain garden.

The presentation continued with information on living shorelines and oysters. Eight of the Leadership Carteret members worked with oysters firsthand at an oyster bagging on Jan. 27. In just two hours, they created 300 oyster bags, which will be used in the federation’s living shoreline work in the spring.

Attendees also were impressed by the numbers behind the 50 Million Oyster Initiative, particularly by the fact that the 50 million oysters will filter 2.5 billion gallons of water daily.

Steamed oysters and barbecue sponsored by Transportation Impact followed the presentations, and Leadership Carteret members again lent a hand by recycling the oyster shells on-site.

Leadership Carteret has been visiting the federation’s office for more than 10 years. The federation is proud to have a relationship with the Carteret County business community and is always looking for ways to expand business relationships along the coast. Learn more.